Juventus’ €341m Ronaldo gamble fails in abysmal Ajax exit
The Italian champions’ failings were laid bare for all to see in an abject home performance as they were deservedly routed by a brilliant Ajax team
The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo in Turin last summer was supposed to herald a new dawn of Champions League dominance for Juventus, after so many close calls.
Those expensive plans – at a total cost of €341 million (£294m/$383m) in wages and transfer fee – were left in pieces on Tuesday as Ajax ran riot to prove that one player on his own can never make a team.
Death, taxes and Ronaldo coming to the fore on a Champions League evening. Life holds very few certainties for any of us, but seeing the Portuguese take a starring role when it most counts in European competition is about as close to a given as it gets.
So when the tournament’s all-time leading goalscorer and their saviour against Atletico Madrid powered home a header to put his side ahead in the first half – aided by Matthijs de Ligt’s unfortunate tumble – the script appeared to be written.
Ajax’s fairytale looked set to come to an end thanks to the supreme talents of Juve’s talisman.