Champions League icon Cristiano Ronaldo issues Juventus rallying cry as he aims to avoid another premature exit vs Porto

CRISTIANO RONALDO has urged his Juventus team-mates to bring their 'A-game' in their Champions League last-16 clash in order to avoid another early exit from the competition.

The Serie A giants reached the final of Europe's elite competition in 2016-17, losing to Real Madrid in Cardiff.

But, since then, Juve have struggled to make a deep run in the knockout stages.

Last year, Juventus crashed out in the last-16 at the hands of Lyon, having only reached the quarter-finals in 2018-19 and 2017-18, losing to Ajax and Real Madrid respectively.

The Italians have reached five finals since their last Champions League title in 1995-96 – but have never taken that all-important final step.

Part of the reason Ronaldo was brought to the Allianz Stadium in 2018 in a £99million deal was to help them finally get over the line.

And Ronaldo has issued a rallying cry to his Juventus pals on the eve of their last-16 first-leg clash with Porto.

Taking to Instagram, Ronaldo wrote: “This is what the Champions League is all about: the knockout rounds.

"It's almost as if another competition starts from this point on.

"Everybody has to bring their A game, because every detail can make the difference.  


“In the last couple of years we went home sooner than we wanted.

"But we continue to aim higher every season and this year is no exception. 

“Tomorrow we have a very important game against a very strong team.

"I can only hope that it may be the beginning of the long walk we want to take until the final.

“Respect for the opponent, ambition for the victory and 100 per cent focus on our goals.”

Club icon Giorgio Chiellini has echoed Ronaldo's sentiment ahead of the game.

The Italian defender said: “In the Champions League it’s tougher, because we know our opponents less.

“We have to avoid making the mistakes we have made in the recent years, as they cost us.

“We are fighting for all the objectives, now the Champions League begins and we arrive with enthusiasm.

“But we are aware of the difficulties we face. They’re a team that defends well and concedes few goals. They have quality on the sides and up front.

“They are a physical side and must be taken seriously. We will have to avoid banging against the wall.”

Juventus travel to Porto for their Champions League last-16 first-leg clash, with kick-off 8pm.

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