Following Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure last summer, several Juventus senators from the present and past lamented the lack of team spirit displayed by the squad during the Portuguese’s time in Turin.

Nevertheless, the superstar’s impact on the scoring charts can’t be questioned, and Max Allegri’s men have been struggling in front of goal since the start of the season.

Whether Ronaldo’s presence would have changed the outcome of the season so far remains uncertain, but Giorgio Chiellini acknowledged the striker’s importance for the team during the previous three campaigns.

The captain joined Allegri for the pre-match press conference ahead of the Italian Super Cup clash which will take place at the San Siro Stadium on Wednesday night.

“Ronaldo used to hide some of our problems. He was an important player. With a top player like him, it’s easier to mask the issues we had,” said the veteran center back according to Football Italia.

“I expected a difficult season after his exit, but we are almost the same team as last season, with Locatelli and Kean and without Cristiano.

Chiellini says that he knew all along that Inter remain the Scudetto favorites despite the departures of Antonio Conte, Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi.

“You can ask [Inter defender Alessandro] Bastoni what I told him back in October when they were seven points off the top of the table.

“I said that only Inter could lose the Scudetto. Milan are in the race, but to me, Inter are the most complete team in Serie A. I may be wrong, but I’ve always thought they were the favorites for the Serie A title.”