Football

Cristiano Ronaldo Leads Juventus To 9th Straight Serie A Title

Cristiano Ronaldo dedicated Juventus’ record-extending ninth successive Serie A title ‘to the fans’ as they defeated Sampdoria in Turin.

The forward scored his 31st league goal of the season from Miralem Pjanic’s short free-kick and Federico Bernardeschi sealed the victory.

Maurizio Sarri’s side are the only team to win nine consecutive titles in one of Europe’s top five leagues.

It extends their own record, which Bayern Munich had matched in June.

Ronaldo missed the chance to get closer to Ciro Immobile’s tally of 34 at the top of the Serie A goal charts as he struck a penalty against the crossbar in the final minutes.

Juventus had missed the chance to claim the title in what manager Sarri described as a “messy” defeat at Udinese on Thursday and began Sunday’s match with just one win in their last five games.

They were far from their free-flowing best and were forced to withstand plenty of pressure in the second half but Bernardeschi’s goal from Ronaldo’s saved attempt ensured former Chelsea manager Sarri won the first league title of his managerial career.

Sampdoria’s hopes of finding a way back into the match ended as they were reduced to 10-men following a second booking for Morten Thorsby.

Ronaldo’s goal sees him move to within three of leading Serie A goalscorer Immobile, who scored a hat-trick in a 5-1 win over Verona earlier on Sunday.

“I told the players ‘if you win with me who has never won anything, it is because you are really strong’,” said Sarri, whose only major trophy win was the Europa League with Chelsea in May 2019.

Ronaldo, 35, has scored 10 goals since football returned in Italy on June 20, more than any other player in Europe, bringing his tally to 31 this season.

He has also matched former Italy World Cup winner Felice Borel, who was the last player to score 31 goals for Juventus in the 1933-34 season, with two games remaining.

“Delighted for the second consecutive championship and to continue building the history of this great and splendid club,” said Ronaldo on Instagram.

“This title is dedicated to all Juventus fans, in particular to those who have suffered and are suffering from the pandemic that has taken us all by surprise by overturning the world.

“It was not easy. Your courage, your attitude and your determination were the strength we needed to face this tight final of the championship and fight to the end for this title that belongs to all of Italy”.

 

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