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'Ronaldo shows he's a winner in every game' - Bentancur in awe of Juventus team-mate

12:30 BST 18/05/2019
cristiano ronaldo rodrigo bentancur - cropped
The Portuguese attacker has scored 21 goals in his first Serie A season and has amazed his Juventus team-mate on and off the field

Rodrigo Bentancur has hailed Cristiano Ronaldo for his winning mentality and says it is a pleasure playing alongside the Portugal forward for Juventus - even though he "hates" not scoring goals.

Ronaldo joined the Turin side from Real Madrid last summer and has marked his first campaign in Serie A with a title triumph.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has scored or assisted 29 top-flight goals in 30 appearances, while also finding the net six times in nine Champions League outings.

But what has impressed Bentancur most of all is the 34-year-old's down-to-earth nature off the field, combined with his ambitious mindset.

"When I heard about the signing, we all had the uncertainty of whether he was going to join us, if he was going to share in the dressing room - that's how it was," he told Marca

"We were intrigued about his personality and we have seen a very simple guy. He has dinner with the group, stays with us in the rooms... he even loves the 'mate' that I brought from Uruguay! He always stays chatting with us after dinner.

"It is amazing. It impresses us all how he trains. He never likes to lose and that is what has led him to win so much and be what he is.

"Before knowing him, he generated some talk. Now he has shown us his simplicity outside the pitch. It is a pleasure to have him as a team-mate."

He added: "Cris does not like to lose, he wants to win and score. Maybe, sometimes, we win 4-0 and he does not score - he goes mad at that. But it's because of his ambition. His winning mentality is what has led him to be among the two best in the world. He is a winner and he shows it in every game."

Despite Ronaldo's presence, Juve failed to overcome Ajax in the quarter-finals of the Champions League last month.

The Bianconeri also exited the Coppa Italia at the same stage, leaving them with two trophies - an eighth successive Scudetto and the Supercoppa Italiana - in the ex-Real Madrid star's debut campaign in Turin.

Bentancur is pleased with how the 2018-19 campaign has panned out, though, and has suggested finishing top of Serie A is even trickier than going all the way in the Champions League.

"For me it is a very good season, beyond what happened in the Champions League against Ajax," he said.

"Removing that, the season was impressive. We lost very few games and won the eighth Scudetto [in a row].

"In Italy, we give the Scudetto a lot of importance. It is even more difficult than the Champions League. In Europe, matches are very even and fast against unexpected rivals. It is true that losing to Ajax was a big disappointment but there will be another chance."

Juve, who announced on Friday that head coach Massimiliano Allegri will step aside at the end of the season, face Atalanta on Sunday.