Merih Demiral was on the books of Juventus between 2019 and 2022, although he spent the last of those campaigns on loan at Atalanta.

The Turkish defender joined the Bianconeri as one of the finest young defenders in Europe, and much was expected of him.

While Juve were impressed by him, there wasn’t space for him to play, with Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini remaining the first choice.

He eventually pushed to move to Atalanta and is now playing in the Saudi Pro League.

The defender has now opened up on leaving Juventus and explains why he did so, while revealing Cristiano Ronaldo made an attempt to convince him to stay.

Demiral said, as quoted by Calciomercato:

“Playing for Juventus and winning with that shirt was an honour. After Pirlo, I trained for almost two months with Allegri, but in the end I thought it was better for me to play continuously for Atalanta.” On Ronaldo’s influence, he added:”Cristiano was special to me from the first days we met, he gave me a lot of advice on and off the pitch. When I wanted to leave Juve given the competition from Chiellini, Bonucci and De Ligt, he stopped to talk with me for an hour, explaining to me very simply that I should have stayed because training with champions would make me grow. I did as Cristiano said and I’m happy with Ronaldo too here in Arabia: he’s a friend of mine and a point of reference.”

Juve FC Says

Demiral was a fantastic young defender, and he could have been a  regular now that Chiellini and Bonucci have left the club.

However, not every player is patient enough to wait for their time and we understand that.

Hopefully, he is proud of the choices he made and now enjoys life in Saudi Arabia.