News Roundup: Cristiano Ronaldo scores on Juventus debut, Pogba still on Barca radar
Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar
The Portuguese superstar was mobbed by fans forcing a premature end to the game.
Cristiano Ronaldo made his debut for Juventus in flying fashion, scoring within eight minutes in a friendly match between Juventus' senior side and their reserve team on Sunday. It was a friendly which hones a tradition of Juventus' owner Andrea Agnelli's family, who hold a practice match between their senior and junior squads in the small town of Villa Perosa just outside of Turin, Italy.
Ronaldo scored a relatively easy goal in the match against Juve's reserve side and a packed house of 5,000 supporters came to cheer him on at the relatively tiny ground. The Portuguese star contributed heavily to Juventus' 5-0 win and looked in top shape, just about a month after joining the Italian giants, following a £105m move from Real Madrid.
Watch: Cristiano Ronaldo scores on Juventus debut, mobbed by fans
It's normally a tradition for the fans to invade the pitch after the fulltime whistle is blown, during these annual matches at the estate of Villa Perosa, which is owned by the Agnelli family. But, the fans couldn't resist the temptation to get up close and personal with the Balon d'Or winner. Around the 72nd minute, some supporters managed to evade security to get close to Ronaldo, which led to a full-fledged pitch invasion, that eventually forced the game to be prematurely abandoned.
The Portuguese star was then mobbed by thousands of Juve faithful, but his loving behavior towards them is assured to have made him a hit with the fans. But, Ronaldo's display during the match itself impressed manager Massimiliano Allegri, who after the game said, "Regarding [Cristiano] Ronaldo, I can say that we have bought a great player on the pitch, but above all, I was told that he is a superb professional and that is certainly the case. If he wasn't, he would not have achieved what he has done."
Juventus are all set to kick-off their Serie A campaign on Saturday with an away trip to Chievo, which will be Ronaldo's official debut for the Bianconeri. The tickets for the match sold out as soon as the Serie A fixture list was announced, as the match is a highly-anticipated one, with everyone keen to see how Ronaldo performs for the Italian champions.
Meanwhile, in other news, Barcelona have apparently not given up on their hopes of securing the signature of Manchester United star Paul Pogba this summer. The Premier League transfer window might've been shut, but the La Liga window is still open till the end of August, which allows the Spanish giants to make the marquee acquisition of Pogba.
Barcelona's President Josep Bartomeu was asked about their pursuit of the French midfielder after the Blaugrana defeated Sevilla 2-1 in the Spanish Super Cup final and he said, ""I won't speak of any names, we have respect for all clubs and there are 20 days left."
"We'll see which players come out. We're focused on the league. So, it's best to ask [Eric] Abidal, [Ramon] Planes or Pep Segura about players." he further added.
HJowever, Bartomeu did not rule out a late bid for Pogba and ended with a cheeky statmeent by saying, "There's still time to do business," indicating that Barcelona have not given up their pursuit of the midfielder.
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde was also pretty tight-lipped about any potentil incomings and said, "I don't think about signings. I think about my team and preparing for the next match."
But he added, "That's my plan, although everything is up in the air until the window closes." It seems unlikely that Pogba will leave Manchester United this summer due to the unavailability of a replacement, but there is visible tension between him and tactician Jose Mourinho.
Pogba indiciated that he could be fined if he talks about Mourinho or about whether or not he's "happy" in his position at the club. But, he further reiterated his pride at captaining the club for the first time in the Premier League.
Published: Mon Aug 13, 2018 07:31 PM IST