Tuesday, August 10, 2021 4:27 pm
Lionel Messi’s imminent switch to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) has not had an impact on Cristiano Ronaldo’s future with Juventus, according to team-mate Leonardo Bonucci.
Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi is expected to complete a move to PSG this week after bringing an end to his 21-year association with FC Barcelona.
French giants PSG have previously been linked with fellow superstar forward Ronaldo, who is now into the final 12 months of his contract with Juventus.
With any path to the Parc des Princes now effectively being cut off by Messi’s arrival, Ronaldo looks set to stay in Turin for at least the next year.
However, Bonucci insists the shock transfer involving Messi has had no bearing on where Ronaldo will play his football this coming season.
“I think that Cristiano would have stayed even if Messi had not gone to PSG,” the Juve defender told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“For us, it’s an added value and I’m sure that this year, more than in past years, he will help us reach all of our goals.”
Since Ronaldo joined Juventus from Real Madrid in 2018, only Robert Lewandowski (103) has scored more goals in all competitions than his 73 among players in Europe’s top five leagues.
The Portugal forward’s 83 goal involvements over this period rank fourth behind Lewandowski (121), Messi (106) and Kylian Mbappe (97).
In spite of Ronaldo enjoying another prolific season in front of goal, Juventus finished fourth in Serie A in 2020/2021.
And Bonucci, who played a starring role in Italy’s Euro 2020 triumph, is aiming to win back the title from Inter Milan when the new season begins.
It will begin in a little under two weeks’ time.
“We want to bring the Scudetto back home, there is no point in hiding that,” he said.
“When you play for Juventus, that has to be the objective for the season, just like having a great UEFA Champions League campaign and fighting on all fronts.
“Personally, though, my goal is to continue my form from the Euros, where I played a major role, and do that again with Juventus.”(dpa/NAN)