Ronaldo Could Debut with Juventus in Atlanta

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(WFI) Cristiano Ronaldo says he went to Juventus to help the Turin team finally win a Champions League title.
Juventus and Ronaldo are expected at the ultra-modern Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MLS)

The Portuguese superstar also says he is looking for a new challenge even though, according to him, players his age go into semi-retirement to China or Qatar.

Ronaldo, 33, offered a press conference on Monday after he was unveiled at Juve.

His debut could take place on August 1 when the Serie A champions play in Atlanta against the MLS all-stars.

Argentine coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino will lead the North American team in the midst of the great season his club, Atlanta United, is having. On Sunday, Martino's team tied 1-1 at home against Seattle Sounders in front of a new attendance record for the season at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium with 72,243 spectators. It is the fifth largest crowd of all time in the history of MLS.

Neither Martino nor anyone knows if Ronaldo will play in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium two weeks after joining the Italian champions from Real Madrid in exchange for $123 million.

Ronaldo has yet to confirm his presence in the upcoming American tour that Juventus will embark on with friendly matches against Bayern Munich in Philadelphia, Benfica in Harrison, New Jersey, the MLS all-star match in Atlanta, and against Real Madrid in Washington on August 4.

The Juventus players that competed in the recent World Cup will progressively join the team’s preseason training before traveling to the U.S. The FIFA tournament in Russia is still a subject of debate for many, including Gerardo Martino who shared his reflection of the World Cup with World Football Insider.

"A new strategy has arisen from this tournament, one implemented by those teams that wait in their own half and then spread quickly into the counterattack. There was a shortage of teams that had possession of the ball, something that was happening in the last two World Cups with Spain and Germany, which were not successful now," he said.

"On the contrary, what did succeed were the fast transitions," he added.

"Besides that, there is the choice of each coach to impose a certain style of play. Although we (Atlanta United) are not a team that seeks possessions too long and sometimes tedious, we do search to build our game from the back to impose our football on the opposition," Martino explained.

"The teams that have been successful in the World Cup cannot give us many new concepts to those of us that have our own ideas," concluded the former national coach for Argentina, Paraguay and also Barcelona at the club level.

Martino will have for the upcoming all-star match 10 players with World Cup experience, five of them from the recent tournament in Russia. His squad is composed of players from 16 nations, a record number in the history of these games. Among those called-in are Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy), Mexico's Carlos Vela (LA F.C.), and Spain's David Villa (NYC F.C.).

Five Atlanta United players will participate in the All-Star team: the MLS’ leading scorer, Venezuela's Josef Martinez, Paraguay's Miguel Almirón, Argentina's Ezequiel Barco, and Americans Michael Parkhurst and Brad Guzan.

As the expectation grows for this friendly duel with Juventus, the battle at the top of the MLS standings also increases.

Atlanta United leads the Eastern Conference with 41 points, NYC F.C. has 40 with one game less, and New York Red Bulls, 35 with three games pending. Dallas leads the Western Conference with 38 points with two fewer games played than Atlanta United.

homepage photo: @juventus


By INSIDER Miguel Hernandez

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