Ronaldo struck with less than half an hour of the showpiece remaining to break the deadlock against Napoli, although Juve survived a scare when Lorenzo Insigne missed a penalty before Alvaro Morata scored with the last kick of the game to ensure boss Andrea Pirlo won his first trophy as a manager.

That goal alone could represent a cause of celebration for Ronaldo, as some statisticians say it puts him one goal ahead of five-time Ballon d’Or winner Josef Bican as the highest scorer of all time.

Official FIFA figures show that the Czech legend remains 45 goals ahead of Ronaldo, on 805, and there is an ongoing debate over Pele’s questionable claim to have scored more than 1,000 goals – but Ronaldo is more concerned about his misfiring side’s chances of failing to win the Italian Serie A for the first time since 2011.

There was an element of relief to the cup final win after Juventus lost 2-0 at Inter Milan on Sunday, leaving them languishing seven points behind their second-placed title rivals and a mammoth 10 points short of leaders AC Milan, on whom they have a game in hand.

A defeat at the San Siro is not necessarily an indication of demise, but the result brought an abrupt halt to a run of three league wins – including a much-needed 3-1 win at Milan – since a disastrous 3-0 home defeat against Fiorentina in their final game of 2020.

“We showed a different attitude to the bad performance against Inter,” Ronaldo told RAI Sport after collecting his fourth trophy since he joined from Real Madrid in 2018.

“That is the past, this is a very important trophy and we hope this can give the team more confidence going into the future.

“We are very happy with the win. It was difficult, especially as the pitch was terrible, but we got it done.

“Milan and Inter are very strong but I believe we have what it takes to win. It’s going to be very difficult, but I believe the Scudetto [Italian title] is still possible.”

Legendary Italy midfielder Pirlo, who has faced criticism in his first senior managerial role, said he felt “great joy” and described winning a cup as a coach as “different“.

“I think [it is] even better than as a player, because I am leading such a great squad and at an historic club,” he purred. “It’s wonderful.

“It’s rare that two teams play well in a final. The important thing is to win. When you play with this determination, then luck can go on your side.

“We wanted to prove that we are not the team seen against Inter, so when you play with this grit, determination and attitude, you draw luck your way.

“Since the start of the season we’ve been trying to play this fluid style of football, but unfortunately every week someone is missing, so it’s difficult for us to keep the same line-up with any regularity.

“After the game the other night, we didn’t deserve that much criticism considering all we’ve done this season – so I am glad they got this trophy tonight.”

“[Scrutiny is] part of the game. It’s easy to build people up and knock them down. I’m used to it, though, as I had ups and downs in a very long playing career.

“I know there’s a solid club behind me, so I can focus and continue doing my work.

“It’s natural there is going to be criticism when you come from nowhere to lead Juventus, but the results will speak for me and the team.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

England need more than Stokes if they are to avoid defeat by Windies

Maybe it was always going to be the way, that in Ben Stokes’ first go in the field as captain he would decide to do it himself. His four wickets for 49 broke through dogged Caribbean resistance to restrict a…

Scottish curling champion Victoria Wright becomes a nurse to battle coronavirus spread

The 26-year-old relaunched her medical career as a surgical ward nurse at Forth Valley Larbert Hospital in Scotland after the 2020 World Curling Championship in Canada was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. READ MORE: Tokyo 2020 Olympics POSTPONED: IOC officially…

‘It was the other way round’: WWE star Alberto del Rio fires back at ex-girlfriend Paige over domestic abuse allegations

The 43-year-old wrestler and former MMA fighter, who had two stints in World Wrestling Entertainment between 2009 and 2016, has responded to allegations that he abused Paige during their tumultuous relationship by instead fingering her as the antagonist. “It was…

‘Protecting ourselves’: Premier League club Wolves BAN players from GOING SHOPPING amid mutated Covid fears

A new and more infectious variant of the virus was first detected in the UK in September, and has driven a surge in cases in the country. In recent weeks the UK has seen infection numbers soar back above 30,000…