Adrien Rabiot Hails Cristiano Ronaldo's Influence at Juventus

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2019

Juventus' midfielder Adrien Rabiot controls the ball during the International Champions Cup football match between Atletico Madrid v Juventus on August 10, 2019 in Solna outside Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot has hailed the influence of Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus ahead of the start of the Serie A season. 

The Old Lady kick off their 2019-20 campaign on Saturday with a visit to Parma.

Rabiot will likely make his competitive debut for the club after joining Juve from Paris Saint-Germain in July, and he has said Ronaldo has helped him improve his game already, per Sky Sport 24 (h/t Goal's Sacha Pisani):

"I played a lot this summer, because I needed to adapt to the team. I'm managing to create an excellent affinity with Cristiano Ronaldo, because he also plays on the left. Training with him allows me to improve myself a lot and his presence is very good for the group.

"Turin is different from Paris. It's smaller, but it's a beautiful city. I am finding myself at ease, and I managed to adapt well, which is very important for what I can then give on the field.

"Personally, I can't wait to start this adventure. I feel fit, we have worked a lot this summer, but we are ready for this appointment. With Parma it will be difficult, because we are the team to beat, and everyone will always give their best against us, but we are confident."

Juventus have won eight Serie A titles in succession and are strong favourites for a ninth in 2019-20.

As well as Rabiot, they have made some fine signings in the summer, also adding Aaron Ramsey to their squad on a free transfer and spending £67.8 million on centre-back Matthijs de Ligt:

B/R Football @brfootball

OFFICIAL: Juventus confirm the signing of Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax This defence 🔥 https://t.co/atPwii53Fh

However, there are several other factors that could affect the title battle in the new campaign.

Most notably, new manager Maurizio Sarri, who has never won a league title in his career, has replaced Massimiliano Allegri in the Juventus top job.

The Italian has plenty of experience in Serie A and developed an effective Napoli side before he moved to Chelsea in 2018.

He will, though, be absent from the bench in his new club's first two games of the season because of illness:

James Horncastle @JamesHorncastle

Sarri will miss Parma and Napoli games through illness. Recovering from pneumonia https://t.co/lmXv1lg4nH

Meanwhile, Inter Milan have Antonio Conte in charge, a manager who won Serie A three times with Juventus between 2012 and 2014 and then led Chelsea to the Premier League title.

The Nerazzurri have made some astute signings this summer as well, with Romelu Lukaku coming in from Manchester United, and veteran centre-back Diego Godin signing for free after departing Atletico Madrid.

Carlo Ancelotti's Napoli should also be challengers in 2019-20, so there is a good chance there could be an intriguing three-way title battle in Serie A.