Juventus chief Andrea Agnelli issues Cristiano Ronaldo defence as Super League crumbles
Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli has issued a defence of Cristiano Ronaldo as the proposed Super League continues to crumble.
Agnelli was named as vice-chairman of the heavily-condemned competition when it was announced on Sunday by the founding clubs.
But amid criticism from fans, pundits and players, most of the participating clubs announced they would be withdrawing.
Though Agnelli has since admitted the plans are dead in the water, Juventus have said in a statement that they remain committed to the Super League.
The description of Juventus as “leading” when the project was announced led to derision, with the Serie A side having not made it past the quarter-finals of the Champions League since 2017.
Those struggles in the tournament coincided with the arrival of superstar Ronaldo from perennial winners Real Madrid.
Juve paid £99million to bring the Portuguese to Turin from the Spanish capital in the hope that he could lead them to a first Champions League title since 1996.
But that hope has failed to materialise as the Serie A side can even be seen to have regressed in their performance, having been knocked out at the last 16 stage in successive seasons.
That includes a defeat to Porto in this season’s competition at that stage, during which Ronaldo was largely kept quiet and was arguably at fault for the decisive winning goal.
Juve’s struggles in the Champions League were tempered slightly by their domination of Serie A, but this season, their title defence has collapsed.
Ronaldo has found it hard to drag his side into contention for a top four place and has come under heavy criticism for his performances.
But club boss Agnelli has moved to defend the superstar, who is entering the final year of his contract in Italy.
“Wrong to take Ronaldo? Never,” he told Corriere dello Sport and La Repubblica.
“I would do it again tomorrow. And Pirlo too. Stability allows us to follow the path of growth by investing in young players and coaches even at their first experience.
“We brought Cristiano to Italy and his presence alone has guaranteed the other clubs €4 million at the box office.
“We wish to continue importing other champions with the benefits for all levels of football, from the youngsters to the amateurs.”