How Ronaldo’s Juventus stack up against the 1996 Champions League winners
Can Ronaldo live up to his world-class tag and join the list of Juventus greats?
Cristiano Ronaldo is a Juventus player after sealing a 112million euro (£99.2million) switch from Real Madrid on Tuesday.
The Portuguese forward, one of the best players of all time, has won everything there is to win at club level and will become the first man to win Champions League titles in England, Spain and Italy if he can help the Bianconeri to continental glory during his time in Turin.
Juve were last crowned European champions in 1996. Here, Press Association Sport compares three of their current stars to three from 22 years ago.
2018: Forward – Cristiano Ronaldo
A haul of 451 goals for Real Madrid across nine years speaks for itself. In Ronaldo Juve have signed a phenomenal striker who has it all: a range of powerful shots, fearsome heading ability, pinpoint accuracy from free-kicks, plus strength and fitness that is remarkable for a 33-year-old.
1996: Forward – Alessandro Del Piero
Del Piero shot to fame as his eight goals helped Juve win a league and cup double in 1995 and the next season he was able to fully emerge from the shadow of Roberto Baggio, from whom he inherited the number 10 shirt. Like Ronaldo he was creative and technical, and could take a wicked free-kick.
2018: Midfielder – Sami Khedira
Benvenuto a Torino, Cristiano 🏴🏳 We had a great time together in Madrid, I can‘t wait to get back to work with you! Today is a special day for @juventusfc! 💪🏽 #FinoAllaFine #ForzaJuve #SK6 @cristiano pic.twitter.com/iU4ULPeHmg— Sami Khedira (@SamiKhedira) July 10, 2018
Juve have been blessed with excellent options in the middle in recent times, with Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba all strutting their stuff in Bianconero. When pass-master Pirlo departed in July 2015, Khedira was a canny acquisition to replace him and, although he has missed swathes of matches due to injury, his all-round ability in defensive and forward roles has really lifted Juve.
1996: Midfielder – Antonio Conte
Best known to fans in England as the current Chelsea manager, Conte was a tenacious box-to-box midfielder who made up for a lack of true natural talent with hard work and football intelligence. Not afraid of getting forward, like Khedira he provided some key goals at key times for the Old Lady.
2018: Defender – Giorgio Chiellini
Following the departure of veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon to Paris St Germain, tough-tackling centre-back Chiellini is the new Juve captain and he is the rock around which a miserly defence has been built in recent years. Originally a left-back, Chiellini has grown better accustomed to starting plays from the back, a role which Leonardo Bonucci previously fulfilled before heading to Milan.
1996: Defender – Ciro Ferrara
Skipper throughout Juve’s dominant period in the mid-1990s, Naples-born Ferrara was a truly world-class defender – athletic and strong, a superb marker and tackler – as well as providing calm and cultured leadership and the occasional goal. Ryan Giggs called him as one of the toughest defenders he ever played against, describing the uncompromising treatment he received as “old school”.