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Paratici: ‘I thought Ronaldo was joking’

January 3, 2019

Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici has revealed he thought Jorge Mendes was joking when he said Cristiano Ronaldo wanted to join the Bianconeri.

The Portuguese international joined Juve from Real Madrid in a €100m move last summer with the deal having been worked on for some time before.

“Ronaldo is Ronaldo, there’s not much else to say,” Paratici said, speaking at the Dubai International Sports Conference.

“We’re happy with him, and not just from a technical point of view. He works so hard every day and is an example.

“When you see the guy who’s number one working like that, everyone feels obliged to do the same thing.

“It all happened very quickly. It was a historic transfer, and we need to thank the President and Real Madrid, because selling a player like that isn’t easy.

“The first contact was in the Champions League quarter-finals, Jorge Mendes told me that Cristiano Ronaldo wanted to sign for Juventus.

“I thought it was a joke, then we met to discuss Cancelo and he brought Ronaldo up again. At that point I realised we could try, and I went to talk to [President Andrea] Agnelli.

“It wasn’t easy, but he was immediately positive from a technical point of view, as well as the player’s motivation and what he could bring to our brand.

“After a few hours he called me back and told me to try.

“Allegri? When I told the Coach he was very happy, he’s a lucky Coach. Allegri talked about it with the commercial directors, we looked at the numbers and decided it would be advantageous to proceed.

“In the last eight years we have had two of the best coaches in the world in Conte and Allegri.

“They’re two different Coaches. Conte is more character driven and is an organiser, he was perfect for that moment.

“We needed a Coach who had that ‘Juventus mentality’ inside him. With him and Agnelli we saw the rebirth of the club.

“Allegri found an already evolving situation, he came from a great club like Milan and gave us that kind of mentality.

“He’s perhaps less of an organiser, but he’s more technical and open to more ways of playing.

“Buffon? When you lose a symbol like Gigi you need to prepare for it, and that’s not easy. He’s also a friend of mine, from whom I learned so much about football and Juventus.

“We were prepared, he had first decided to end his career, and when we arrived at the end of the season we confirmed Szczesny.

“Then he got that offer from Paris Saint-Germain, he told the President and we decided to let him go.”

[Translation from Football Italia]

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