Cristiano Ronaldo challenges old rival Lionel Messi to join him in Italy: ‘I hope he accepts’

Ronaldo moved to Turin from Real Madrid in the summer for an eye-watering £99.2m and has admitted he would like his old rival to join him in his new country

Monday 10 December 2018 13:28
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Cristiano Ronaldo unveiled as a Juventus player

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has challenged his old rival Lionel Messi to join him in Serie A, admitting: “I would like him to come to Italy one day.”

Ronaldo moved to Turin from Real Madrid in the summer for an eye-watering £99.2m and has hit the ground running at his new club.

He has scored ten goals in 15 Serie A appearances with Juventus currently sitting pretty at the top of the table, eight points clear of Napoli in second. Juventus have won all but one of their league games and only Genoa’s Krzysztof Piatek has scored more goals than Ronaldo’s ten.

Messi is meanwhile the top scorer in La Liga with one more goal than Ronaldo, with Barcelona leading Sevilla by three points at the top. And Ronaldo hopes his old rival might one day join him in Italy.

“Maybe Messi misses me,” he told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I’ve played in England, Spain, Italy, Portugal and for my national team, while he’s still in Spain.

“Maybe he needs me more... For me, life is a challenge, I like it and I like to make people happy.

“I’d like him to come to Italy one day. I hope he accepts the challenge like me, but if he’s happy there then I respect that.

“He’s a fantastic player and a good guy, but I don’t miss anything here. This is my new life and I’m happy.”

Ronaldo also said that he believes this is the best group of players he has ever been part of, insisting that Juventus’ squad is more “humble” than Real Madrid’s.

“I can say this is the best group I’ve been a part of,” he added.

“Here we’re a team. Some players feels bigger than others at other clubs, whereas here everyone’s rowing on the same boat. We’re all humble and we want to win.

“If Dybala or Mandzukic don’t score, you still see them happy and similing. For me it’s beautiful, I can sense the difference.

“The players at Madrid are humble too, but here... I feel they are more so. It’s very different to Madrid and more of a family here.

Ronaldo wants Messi to follow him to Italy

“The past has passed. Now I want to win with Juve, I have to defend these colours. The rest doesn’t matter. If I played against Real, I’d try to give my best.

“I’ve seen you write about James, Bale and Asensio, but to be honest Juventus don’t need other players.

“You must talk to the President about that. As for the future, I don’t know. Marcelo’s strong, our doors are open to good players and Marcelo is one of them.

“I’ve never bet on anything with Allegri, only in games with Dybala, Mandzukic and Khedira. I win 99 percent of the time, maybe a few euros or a bottle of wine.

“I’ve built up a collection of three bottles and 200-300 euros in the dressing room so far.”

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