It only takes months for Cristiano Ronaldo to win a title for his new club.
Ronaldo led his new team, Juventus to Italian Super Cup championship in defeating AC Milan, 1-0 at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia last January 17th.
Ronaldo found the back of the net in the 61st minute to give Juventus its first Italian Super Cup title since 2015. It’s also Ronaldo’s first title for Juventus after signing with the Italian club from Real Madrid last July 2018.
“It was a very difficult match, it’s very warm and hard to play in these conditions,” Ronaldo quoted by Reuters said, referring to the climate of the host country, Saudi Arabia.
“It was my intention to start 2019 with a trophy, I have my first title with Juventus and I am very happy,” he added.
Douglas Costa, Blaise Matuidi, Patrick Cutrone and Joao Cancelo had three separate attempts in the first half to put Juventus onboard but it’s no avail.
Luckily in the 61st minute, AC Milan defense on the net was napping, giving an opportunity to Ronaldo to penetrate the defense to put Juventus on board.
AC Milan was unable to put themselves on the scoreboard after Franck Kessie was sent off in the 71st minute after tripping Juventus’ Emre Can. The former sent off caused disarray for his team.
Also making worst for AC Milan that coach Gennaro Gattuso decided to not use the main striker Gonzalo Higuain for the first 80 minutes of the match due to fever but other media reports suggested the Argentinean was benched due to impending transfer to English Premier League team Chelsea.
“It is only the start, we take it one step at a time. We’ve got this cup, now we must keep working hard to achieve the next trophy,’’ Ronaldo further added as Juventus is also the defending Serie A champion.
“Serie A is always Juve’s principal objective, we are top of the table, but it’s a very long competition and it’s going to be tough, so we need to keep working.”
Aside from their mother league Serie A, Juventus is also participating in Coppa Italia, wherein they are currently in the quarterfinals. They are also participating in the UEFA Champions League, which they will face Atletico Madrid in the Round of 16 next month.
But the Italian Super Cup has some controversy this year after Serie A selected Saudi Arabia as the host country of the championship.
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said the staging of the Italian Super Cup in Saudi Arabia is ‘’disgusting.’’
“That the Italian Super Cup is played in an Islamic country where women can’t go to the stadium if they’re not accompanied by men is a sadness, a rubbish, I won’t watch the game,’’ Salvini, a fan of AC Milan said in a Facebook live video, quoted in a report of CNN.
Gaetano Micciche, the head of Serie A contradict Salvini’s claim, quoted in the same report. “Until last year, women (in Saudi Arabia) could not attend any sporting event,” he said. “We are working to ensure that in the next games that we play in the country, women can access all the stadium seats.”
The Saudi Arabia General Sports Authority did not provide any comment on the criticism of Salvini.