The long-serving Juventus defender is delighted to be a team-mate rather than a rival of the Portuguese and has also discussed his own future
Giorgio Chiellini admits he is relieved to be on the same side as Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus, with the Portuguese having broken his dreams ‘many times’ in the past.
A five-time Ballon d’Or winner proved to be a serious thorn in the Bianconeri’s side during his trophy-laden spell at Real Madrid.
He would regularly dash Juve’s European aspirations, with crucial – and often stunning – goals recorded in Champions League finals and various stages of the knockout rounds.
Ronaldo is, however, now chasing further titles in Turin, with Chiellini among those delighted to have the 33-year-old on board.
He told BBC Sport: “Cristiano scored many, many, many times against us and he broke my dreams many times – in Cardiff, in Madrid, in Turin.
“Before, the Champions League was a dream. Now it is a target because Cristiano is the best player in the world and we need him to make the last step.
“It’s the personality of Cristiano. He has fantastic skills in the field but out of the field, his attitude – how he works, how he prepares for the match, how he lives every day of his life – can help us. The team has changed.
“I think that we are one of the four or five teams who are favourites – Barcelona, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich. But also PSG and Atletico can reach the victory and we are so far away from the key matches still.”
Chiellini also claims to still be learning from Ronaldo, despite being 34 years of age.
The experienced defender said: “I was curious to see some particular attitude far from the field.
“His work in the gym, and his concentration, is something I try to take. He’s helped me because I would like every day to improve myself.”
He is also still coming to terms with the fact Juventus were able to put a stunning €112 million (£100m/$128m) deal in place, adding: “I didn’t believe it at the beginning. But after some days of rumours I talked with [president] Andrea [Agnelli] and I was surprised. I think that for many fans and also the players it was not so normal.”
While continuing to seeking improvements to his own game while surrounded by superstar team-mates, Chiellini concedes that end of his distinguished career is approaching.
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He said of his future: “I don’t know how long I will play.
“I live day by day and I think only about the next match. I’m very happy, I enjoy to train and play in this team and I’m proud of our team. At this age, we can’t think too far ahead.
“But I’ve prepared for the end of my career.”