Materazzi: Juventus a failure if they don't win Champions League with Ronaldo

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The Italian champions are in a strong position to claim their first European crown since 1996, according to the legendary former Inter Milan defender

Ex-Italy defender Marco Materazzi believes that if Juventus fail to win the Champions League their 2018-19 campaign will ultimately go down as a failure. 

The Old Lady have been widely tipped to win Europe's most prestigious competition this year, after signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid last summer.

The Spanish champions have won the famous trophy three years on the bounce, while Juve have been losing finalists in two of the last four seasons.

A last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid beckons this time around and according to Materazzi,  who played for Juve's arch-rivals Inter Milan between 2001 and 2011, Massimiliano Allegri's men will have no excuses if they fail to win their first European crown in 23 years.

"Juve is strong every year and have an obsession with having to win the Champions League," he told Eurosport Sweden. "When you win a lot in Italy, you have to do one more step and the extra step is called the Champions League. And then this year they took a player [Ronaldo] who is unequalled at European level, so I think that Cup is their first goal. 

"In Italy, nobody is able to remove the Scudetto from Juventus. But if they do not win the Champions League, I think they will be a failure."

"When you take the strongest in the world, along with Messi, it is right to expect that Cup. If they win, I will congratulate them, as an Italian. But do not ask me to cheer for them."

Juve are currently considered as fourth favourites to win the Champions League in May, behind Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Manchester City.

Their latest European campaign has been smooth sailing so far, as they qualified for the knockout stages as Group H winners, ahead of Manchester United.

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The Red Devils did, however, manage to inflict the only defeat of Juve's season so far in Turin, running out 2-1 winners after a shock late comeback.

The Italian champions have also been dominant domestically once again, on course to win Serie A for an eighth successive year after opening up a 13-point lead at the top of the table.

European success is at the forefront of the player's minds though and they will be hoping to secure a good result at the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday evening, ahead of the second leg fixture against Atletico on March 12.