'Wrong to take Ronaldo? Never!' - Agnelli defends Juve's decision to sign five-time Ballon d'Or winner

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Andrea Agnelli has defended Juventus's decision to sign Cristiano Ronaldo, insisting the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's presence has "guaranteed" the other clubs in Serie A €4 million in extra revenue.

Juve forked out £99m ($138m) to lure Ronaldo away from Real Madrid in 2018 in the hope that he could inspire them to a first Champions League triumph since the 1995-96 season.

The Italian giants have since been unable to make it past the quarter-finals of the competition, however, and although Ronaldo's output in the final third has remained as high as ever, it has been suggested that the Portuguese is holding back the rest of the team.

What's been said?

Ronaldo was kept quiet during Juve's shock Champions League round-of-16 defeat to Porto and has been powerless to prevent them from falling out of the Serie A title race this season, but Agnelli still has no regrets over the club's purchase of the 36-year-old.

The Juve chairman has also jumped to the defence of under-fire head coach Andrea Pirlo, telling Corriere dello Sport  and La Repubblica: "Wrong to take Ronaldo? Never.

"I would do it again tomorrow. And Pirlo too. Stability allows us to follow the path of growth by investing in young players and coaches even at their first experience."

Agnelli added: "We brought Cristiano to Italy and his presence alone has guaranteed the other clubs €4 million at the box office. 

"We wish to continue importing other champions with the benefits for all levels of football, from the youngsters to the amateurs."

Ronaldo's record at Juve

Ronaldo has racked up 126 appearances across all competitions for the Bianconeri since making his debut for the club three years ago, scoring 97 goals.

The former Madrid frontman has also secured two Serie A titles and two Supercoppa Italiana winners' medals to add to his illustrious CV.

The bigger picture 

Thirty-two of Ronaldo's goals for Juve have come during the 2020-21 campaign, including 25 in Serie A - four ahead of Inter forward Romelu Lukaku in the race for the Golden Boot.

Pirlo's side have become reliant on the Portugal international to deliver the goods in front of goal, and although they are no longer the dominant force in Italy, it seems unlikely that they will part ways with a prized asset any time soon.

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Ronaldo has been linked with a return to Madrid as he approaches the final year of his contract at the Allianz Stadium, but Juve vice-chairman Pavel Nedved has insisted that he will be staying put  for at least one more season.

"For me, Ronaldo can't be touched," Nedved told DAZN last month. "He has a contract until June 30, 2022 and will stay. What happens after that remains to be seen."

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