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'Even a champion like Ronaldo offers no guarantees' - Juventus legend Marchisio reflects on shattered dreams

11:34 BST 19/04/2019
Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus 2018-19
The former Bianconeri midfielder has pointed out that one player is never enough to secure titles, while discussing his own departure from Turin

Cristiano Ronaldo is “a champion”, concedes Claudio Marchisio, but even his talents were never going to be enough on their own to land Juventus a much-coveted Champions League crown.

The Bianconeri invested heavily in a five-time Ballon d’Or winner during the summer of 2018 in the hope that he would prove to the final piece in a European puzzle.

Despite the 34-year-old’s best efforts, a first continental crown since 1996 has remained elusive.

Ronaldo netted in both legs of a quarter-final clash with Ajax, but the Dutch giants claimed another notable scalp to go with the one already snatched from Real Madrid.

Juve legend Marchisio is not all that surprised to see his former club unstuck, with success – particularly at the very highest level – never guaranteed by one player.

He told Corriere della Sera of Ronaldo: “From what I saw of him this summer before leaving Turin, everything revolved around him because he raised the level of each player and gave us a lot of self-esteem.

“Having said that, a champion, no matter how big, can’t give you the certainty of winning, otherwise Ronaldo and Messi would’ve split the last 10-15 Champions Leagues.

“The dream shattered because this hadn’t been questioned: football isn’t an exact science.”

Marchisio spent 13 years as part of the first-team set-up in Turin trying to help Juventus over a European line.

He was unable to do so before heading to Zenit St Petersburg in the summer of 2018.

The 33-year-old did enjoy plenty of domestic success after stepping out of the Bianconeri’s academy system but admits he probably spent too long in the comforts of his home town.

 “[Gianluigi] Buffon was right,” added the experienced midfielder.

“He told me if he knew before that football abroad was lived so differently, he would’ve gone there [Paris Saint-Germain] a few years earlier.

“You live a different life, you savour a certain kind of freedom that is lacking in Italy.

“You know the image of a bus arriving at a stadium? That’s the life of a footballer in Italy in a nutshell: there’s an escort everywhere you go and you don’t even notice it.

“Only once you live a different kind of freedom on a daily basis do you realise how thick that bubble is.”