Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has claimed that the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo has given the club an injection of "excitement" ahead of the new season, adding that the Old Lady are more confident than ever that they will challenge for the Champions League this year.
The 51-year-old spoke to reporters after Juve's intra-squad friendly against their B team, which finished in a comfortable 5-0 win for the senior side. New arrival Ronaldo scored on his first appearance for the Bianconeri, with attention now switching to their Serie A curtain-raiser against Chievo Verona.
Paulo Dybala also impressed during the friendly and scored a brace at Villar Perosa on Sunday, offing a glimpse at what could be a deadly partnership in Juventus' attack next season.
But head coach Allegri focused on how the positivity of Ronaldo's arrival has already infected the club, including in their impressive youth system.
"It’s only natural after the arrival of players like Ronaldo, Emre Can, Bonucci and Leonardo Spinazzola that there is excitement and dreams, but we have to make the quality count with our team performances on the pitch," Allegri said, quoted by Calciomercato.
"Naturally, we have a higher ambition of winning the Champions League than in previous years, just as we want the Scudetto, Coppa Italia and Italian Super Cup.
"Ronaldo has above all brought experience at international level and acts as extra motivation for the younger lads to aim higher. You don’t win five Ballon d’Or trophies for nothing and you can see how hard he works to get there.
"However, Real Madrid have won four of the last five editions of the Champions League and they did that through hard work. We’ve got to work too and this is the first time I’ve really seen the whole squad play together."
Juventus will now be eager to prepare for the new season which kicks off on the road to Chievo Veron on August 18. The Old Lady then face a tough test against SS Lazio before sitting down to watch the Champions League group stage draw later this month.