VILLAR PEROSA, Italy (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo made Juventus fans wait only eight minutes before scoring his first goal for the club in a traditional pre-season friendly against the team’s “B” side on Sunday.
Ronaldo finished with his usual confidence and poise after latching onto a looping pass over the midfield from attacking midfelder Federico Bernardeschi. Ronaldo took one touch to cushion the ball and then casually thumped it into the left corner. Ten minutes later, he pressured Riccardo Capellini into an own-goal to make it 2-0 to the Bianconero, the name given to Juventus because of its famed white-and-black jersey.
Juventus fans gathering to watch the five-time Ballon d’Or winner at Villar Perosa — in a rural area of Piedmont in northern Italy — held up banners. One said “Welcome Ronaldo” and another had his face on it and simply read CR7, in reference to the jersey number Ronaldo made famous as a Real Madrid player.
Ronaldo stunned Madrid fans last month when he joined Juventus for an Italian league record sum of 112 million euros (now $128 million). The 33-year-old Portugal international will likely make his proper debut in Juve’s first league match of the season at Chievo Verona next Saturday.
He moved from Manchester United to Madrid in 2009, and became the Spanish club’s all-time leading scorer with 451 goals in 438 matches. He helped Madrid win four Champions Leagues titles — beating Juventus in the final in 2017 — and also won La Liga and the Copa del Rey twice.
Ronaldo, who led Portugal to the European Championship in 2016, also won the Champions League at Manchester United as well as three Premier League titles and the FA Cup with the Red Devils.
Juventus has won the last seven league titles but has fallen just short in Europe, also losing the Champions League final in 2015 to Barcelona.
The storied Italian club hopes signing Ronaldo will help it add to the European Cups it won in 1985 and ’96. Juventus has lost five finals since its last European Cup success.