Cristiano Ronaldo represents the future of Juventus, according to the club’s CEO Fabio Paratici, who has dismissed speculation that the forward might leave the club.
Doubt has been cast over Ronaldo’s future at the Serie A club after Juventus were knocked out of the Champions League by Porto in the last 16.
The 36-year-old is under contract at the Allianz Stadium until 2022 but has been linked with a return to former club Real Madrid.
During a press conference last week, Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane described Ronaldo as “magnificent”, but was reluctant to be drawn on rumours that he could return to the club where he won three Champions League titles during the Frenchman’s first spell in charge.
Paratici told Sky Italy: “It makes me smile. I never imagined Ronaldo could be put into question. In my career I never thought I would have to discuss about Cristiano Ronaldo, whether his transfer was positive or negative…
“I grew up in a small town in the Bassa Padana region called Borgonovo Val Tidone and I heard people making these type of comments outside the church or in the bars, about Gigi Rivera, Mazzola, Roberto Baggio, Michel Platini. I would have never thought of having one day to discuss these type of matters now at this level.
“This makes me smile. We’re talking about a player who in 2020 scored 41 goals in 38 matches with Juventus.
“He is currently – not five years ago – top scorer in the Serie A. Ronaldo won five Ballon d’Or awards, I don’t know how many Champions League titles.
“It’s a privilege to have him here, and we’ll hold on tight to him. We’re very happy to have him here.”
When asked whether Ronaldo represents the future of Juventus, Paratici added: “For sure.”
Ronaldo, who has scored 30 goals in 33 games in all competitions so far this term, scored a perfect hat-trick inside 32 minutes as Juventus bounced back from last week’s Champions League exit by beating Cagliari 3-1.
Andrea Pirlo’s side are third in Serie A, 10 points behind league leaders Inter Milan.