'I feel good, I feel motivated' - Cristiano Ronaldo addresses media after sealing $193m Italian switch

At the age of 33, many football players are past their peak. Cristiano Ronaldo vows to show he is not one of them.

Juventus signed Ronaldo from Real Madrid last week for 112 million euros (NZ$193 million) - an Italian league record sum - and the world player of the year penned a four-year contract.

Some see it as an extravagant sum for a player who, although a five-time Ballon d'Or winner, is entering the latter stages of a glittering career.

At his first news conference as a Juventus player on Monday, Ronaldo insisted he was motivated by a new challenge and keen to step out of his comfort zone after nine years at Madrid.

"With all due respect, usually players of my age go to Qatar or China, so coming to such an outstanding club at this stage in my career makes me very happy," he said.

"I'm different from all the other players who think their career is over at my age. I want to show that I'm not like the others, I'm different. It's an emotional moment for me because I'm not 23, I'm 33.

"I'm not here on holiday," he added. "I want to mark the history of Juventus. I hope I can surprise everyone one last time and I'm very, very confident."

Ronaldo has always been credited with a phenomenal workrate, and he has promised to continue that at Juventus in order to prolong his longevity.

The Portugal forward moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009, and became the Spanish club's all-time leading scorer with 451 in 438 matches. He helped Madrid win four Champions Leagues - beating Juventus in the final in 2017 - and also won La Liga and the Copa del Rey twice each.

Ronaldo, who also led Portugal to the European Championship in 2016, also won the Champions League at Manchester United as well as three Premier Leagues and the FA Cup.

He expects his winning ways to continue at the Serie A champion.

"It will be tough, I know that," Ronaldo said. "The league is very tough but Juve is ready and I will be ready. The age is not important. I feel good, I feel motivated. I will try to do my best like always. I'm looking forward to starting the league well and to try to win every title."

On his arrival at Allianz Stadium for his medical on Monday, Ronaldo was greeted by hundreds of fans, who chanted his name and "Portaci la Champions" ("Bring us the Champions League trophy").

Juventus hasn't won the Champions League since 1996. It has been on the losing side in the final five times since then, including twice in the past four editions.

Juventus has won the Serie A for the last seven seasons - and done the league and Italian Cup double for the past four - but has struggled to transfer its domestic supremacy to the European stage.

Ronaldo has won the Champions League four times in the past five seasons. He has a record 120 Champions League goals, 105 of them at Madrid, 12 more than Juventus as a team managed in that same period.

"Juventus has been one step away from it and couldn't win," Ronaldo said. "I hope I can be the lucky charm."

The Portugal captain has joined Italian champions Juventus. Source: Associated Press


Topics



Usain Bolt secures trial contract with A-League side Central Coast Mariners - report

Sprinting superstar Usain Bolt appears to have found his next career move after hanging up his boots late last year, with the Jamaican sensation reportedly on the verge of signing for A-League side Central Coast Mariners, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Bolt, 31, will reportedly undergo a six-week trial with the Mariners, having previously attempted to ignite a professional football career with Stromsgodset in Norway, and Borussia Dortmund in Germany earlier this year.

"I want to try to get better, to work as hard as I can, play as much as I can. Maybe a club will see something and decide to give me a chance," Bolt said at the time.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp said that the club have done their research, shooting down suggestions of Bolt's signing as a mere publicity stunt.

"This is a very real football opportunity, this is not a stunt or gimmick – we want to know if Usain can play," he said.

"If he can, let's light up the A-League and bring one of the biggest named athletes in sport to the Central Coast."

The A-League's 2018/19 season begins in October.

He climbed over photographers to reach supporters in Jamaican colours before setting Rio alight with his striking pose.
Usain Bolt after winning 100m in Rio Source: 1 NEWS


Topics

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Watch: Beaten World Cup finalists Croatia treated like kings on return home

In an outburst of national pride, Croatia threw out a red carpet and staged a heroes' welcome for the country's national team despite its loss to France in the World Cup final.

Tens of thousands of people wearing national red-and-white colors and waving Croatian flags poured into the streets in of the capital Zagreb to greet the players.

The joyful crowd crammed the city's central square or lined up along the route where the players were set to pass in an open bus.

Croatian air force jets escorted the plane carrying the team from Russia as it entered the country's air space and flew over the capital Zagreb.

"Champions! Champions!" roared the crowds as the players came out of the plane to a red carpet placed on the tarmac at the Zagreb airport.

The small country of 4 million people has been gripped in euphoria since its team beat England to reach its first World Cup final, where Croatia lost 4-2 to France.

The success has been the described as the biggest in Croatia's sporting history, boosting national pride and sense of unity in the country that fought a war to become independent from the former Yugoslavia in 1990s'.

Croatia's state railway company has halved ticket prices so fans could travel to Zagreb, while city authorities in the capital said public transportation would be free.

State TV urged citizens to come out and enjoy "the historic moment" of the players' return, while other media have described the players as "our heroes."

An open top bus parade welcomed Croatia after they touched down in Zagreb. Source: Associated Press


Topics