Watch: Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti says Juventus are not rulers of Italian football

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Napoli‘s new manager Carlo Ancelotti has sent out a message of warning to Serie A defending champions Juventus ahead of the upcoming season.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Ancelotti told reporters that rivals Juventus are not the rulers of Italian football, there are other teams too that might pose a challenge.

The Old Lady, as they are popularly known, have signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid and are big favourites for the league title, although Ancelotti thinks differently.

Hear what the 59-year old had to say.

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Watch: Juventus goalkeeper Mattia Perin admits he was 'shocked' with Cristiano Ronaldo signing

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Mattia Perin has admitted that he was shocked by the news of Juventus signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.

Ronaldo has signed a four-year contract with the Serie A giants, after nine years with the Los Blancos.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, the goalkeeper expressed his thoughts on the idea that the Portugal superstar is coming to Turin.

Find out what Perin had to say, below:

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Superhero Ronaldo wore mask of focus but it concealed him from Real Madrid's affection

Andy West 11/07/2018
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Cristiano Ronaldo spent nine years at the Bernabeu.

After registering a club record 450 goals and 15 titles, including four Champions League crowns, there should be no doubt about the kind of legacy left behind by Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid.

He should be forever revered with universal and unanimous affection by Los Blancos fans, who by all rights should remember the departing star as one of their greatest idols alongside the likes of Alfredo Di Stefano and Raul.

But that might not actually be the case, because Ronaldo always strangely struggled to command the kind of affection his ridiculous levels of goalscoring warranted.

Even when he was banging home 50 or 60 goals per season, it wasn’t at all unusual for Ronaldo to be barracked by an outbreak of whistles from home fans inside the Bernabeu if he went through a brief barren patch.

Furthermore, despite being one of the best-paid and greatest admired athletes on the planet, it was unusual to see Cristiano actually looking happy during his time with Los Blancos. He rarely looked like he actually enjoyed playing for Real Madrid, only breaking into a smile when he scored a goal – but that quickly turned back into a frown as he returned to relentlessly search for his next goal.

And perhaps there lies the reasoning behind the apparent lack of a deep bond between Madrid fans and their star player: his endless thirst for self-improvement, which prevented him from ever relaxing sufficiently to enjoy the moment and show his human side to his supporters. Since arriving in Spain, he was never really human at all – he was also a superhuman force of nature, hell bent on breaking every goalscoring record out there…and then breaking them again.

Of course, it didn’t help Ronaldo’s cause with many Madrid fans that he was foreign, or that he was already a fully-fledged superstar when he arrived at the club (unlike Manchester United, where he emerged from nowhere and could thus be regarded by fans as ‘one of our own’).

Record goalscorer: Cristiano Ronaldo.

But more than those factors, it was Ronaldo’s steely mask of ultra-professionalism and unswerving focus which made it more difficult for Madrid fans to fully warm to him, even when he was scoring goals and the team was winning trophies.

Maybe he will find more affection in Italy, where Juventus supporters can allow themselves to feel a certain amount of pride that he has chosen their club. This is Cristiano Ronaldo, a global icon, who has selected Juve above all the other options he must have been given. That boost in self-esteem for fans could well be reciprocated by a surge of emotion towards the new recruit, who could well find himself in the strange position of being more loved by fans of his new team, where he has scored no goals, than he was by fans of his old team, where he scored hundreds.

In any case, those Madrid supporters who never truly warmed to Ronaldo – which wasn’t all of them, let’s be clear – may soon realise just how good the Portuguese star was for their club, because his departure leaves a massive hole which may not be filled immediately if ever.

It will be fascinating to see how Los Blancos intend to spend the money they have earned from Ronaldo’s sale to replace him, but club president Florentino Perez surely already knows.

Paris Saint-Germain pair Neymar and Kylian Mbappe must be the front-runners, perhaps joined by Eden Hazard from Chelsea if Gareth Bale also departs. There could also be a more prominent role for popular Spanish pair Isco and Marco Asensio, but none of them can seriously be expected to compensate for the goals which have been taken out of the team by the loss of Ronaldo.

Next in line? Neymar is touted to be signed by the Whites.

During his nine seasons in Spain, Ronaldo never scored less than 25 league goals a season. He totalled more than 40 in all competitions for the last eight years in a row, including 60 in the four Champions League campaigns they have won since 2014.

Where are those goals coming from now? Mbappe, Neymar, Hazard, Asensio, Isco, Bale and Karim Benzema between them would struggle to match those incredible numbers, and the desperate upcoming attempt to replace Cristiano Ronaldo could well make him more appreciated by Madrid fans after he’s gone than he was while he was there.

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