Douglas Costa: I Had Doubts About Cristiano Ronaldo When He Joined JuventusMarch 16, 2019
Juventus winger Douglas Costa has revealed he had doubts about the effect Cristiano Ronaldo would have on the dressing room ahead of his arrival from Real Madrid last summer.
Ronaldo joined the Bianconeri in a €112 million move, and his €31 million annual salary is reportedly three times more than any other player in Serie A, but Costa says the Portugal international was quick to dispel his concerns.
Per Goal's Sacha Pisani, Costa told YouTube channel De Sola:
"Believe it or not, but when Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival was being talked about, I asked 'what will the dressing room be like?'
"We all have to love each other as team-mates because we're all looking for a place in the team—but Cristiano won everyone over very quickly.
"He's a simple, hardworking guy who likes to win. Juventus were looking for a player with his mentality, so he's given us a lot.
"When he arrived, I thought 'the best player in the world has joined, right?' As soon as he arrived, the club improved in every aspect. His contribution has been noticeable.
"He scores goals every week, he's brought more fans to the stadium, and we hope to win things with him so we make history with him by our side."
Ronaldo has enjoyed a successful start to his Juventus career, bagging 24 goals and 12 assists in 36 matches.
Having played a key role in Real winning four UEFA Champions League titles during his nine years with the club, Ronaldo was brought in to give the Bianconeri an edge that had been missing in Turin. Juve reached the Champions League final in 2015 and 2017 but lost to Barcelona and Real.
He's playing his part in doing that, bagging a hat-trick to help Juve progress in the last 16 after losing the first leg 2-0 to Atletico Madrid:
Sports writer Andy West summarised the reaction to his performance:
Ronaldo comes to life in the Champions League, particularly in the knockout phase:
Juventus now face a quarter-final tie with Ajax, while in Serie A they're 18 points clear of Napoli and on the verge of winning their eighth consecutive Scudetto.
There's still a long way to go in Europe's premier competition, but Ronaldo's ability to drag his side through knockout ties seems to have elevated Juventus to another level. Having a five-time Ballon d'Or winner in the squad may have motivated his team-mates to raise their game, too.