‘Ronaldo is like LeBron or Brady’ – Khedira expecting Juventus success with superstars on board

Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus 2019-20
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The Bianconeri midfielder is excited by the potential in Turin, with the German admitting that marquee signings have been made to deliver success

Cristiano Ronaldo is a sporting role model in the LeBron James or Tom Brady mould, says Sami Khedira, with Juventus planning to benefit from his considerable presence.

The Bianconeri completed a stunning swoop for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner in the summer of 2018.

They were able to lure the Portuguese away from Real Madrid and saw him help them to more Serie A title glory in his debut campaign,.

He is considered to have had a positive impact on those around him in Turin, with World Cup-winning midfielder Khedira among those pleased to have an iconic figure on board.

The Germany international told Kicker: “Ronaldo is an example for all sportsmen, like LeBron James in basketball or Tom Brady in American football.

“Or like [Gianluigi] Buffon. When the boys see Gigi pushing weights for 45 minutes, at 41, they understand his love for this sport and can only think, ‘I can do it too’.

“Older players are a great motivator for the younger ones.”

Sami Khedira Juventus 2018-19

While Ronaldo has been likened to legendary figures from other spots at the LA Lakers and New England Patriots, he is far from the only star turn on Juve’s books.

Those ranks have been further bolstered this summer, with much sought-after Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt opting to swap life at Ajax for that in Turin.

The intention is that a star-studded squad will help to deliver Champions League glory, with Juve still looking for a first European triumph since 1996.

“We have crazy quality,” said Khedira.

“In the training 11 against 11 matches, it could be Champions League standard.

“In Europe there are five or six teams at that level. It is not just down to physical quality but also mental and the harmony in the locker room.

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“We need to start the new championship in a focused way and from that, take confidence into Europe.

“We must not hide. We did not buy Ronaldo or De Ligt to go out in the quarter-finals or semi-finals.

“The club is determined to win that trophy, but it would be a mistake to focus solely on it.”