“Ronaldo didn’t act like a superstar” – Juventus stalwarts Chiellini, Bonucci praise Portugal captain’s humility

Long-serving Juventus defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci have been discussing Cristiano Ronaldo this week, with the pair agreeing that the Portuguese has an off-field manner which would surprise many people.

Ronaldo left Juventus last September after three seasons in Turin, where Bonucci and Chiellini are regarded as club legends with over 1,000 appearances between them for the Bianconeri. Speaking to Muschio Selvaggio, the stoppers each shared their experience when welcoming Ronaldo to Italy from Real Madrid in 2018.

“We all knew from the first day he arrived at Juventus that only he would be talked about,” Bonucci began. “But since becoming part of the group he behaved normally and was good with everyone. He didn’t act like a superstar, we could work with him.”

Chiellini, who serves as club captain with La Vecchia Signora, agreed with the sentiment. The 37-year-old admitted last summer that Ronaldo’s late departure in the transfer window was unhelpful for the club, while also suggesting that Juve would experience a reset in the wake of him leaving, but while speaking this week Chiellini emphasised sympathy with the perceptions around the Seleção skipper.

“Humanly speaking, dealing with someone like him is easier than it looks,” Chiellini said. “When he joined the group, he became part of the group and was treated like any other, even though he was a flesh-and-blood global entity. It is normal for everything he says to be news, but he is simply a human being who is dedicated to his work. 

“He is a champion and will remain in history, but he is a normal person. In fact, his life is harder than ours. He's richer, it’s true, but if he wants to go for a walk or go downtown, he can’t do it.”

By Sean Gillen