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31 Jul, 2018 10:04

‘Ronaldo to Juventus is propaganda!’ – rival Italian boss slams €100mn Cristiano signing

‘Ronaldo to Juventus is propaganda!’ – rival Italian boss slams €100mn Cristiano signing

Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo’s €100 million move to Italian giants Juventus from Real Madrid has been dubbed nothing more than “propaganda” by Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis.

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo hooked up with Juve teammates on Monday when reporting for his first day of training with the Turin club since making the big money switch from Madrid earlier in July.

However, Napoli boss De Laurentiis believes there is an ulterior motive for the signing by Juventus owners Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Group, and labeled it a “script” designed to create a smokescreen for fans, who have enjoyed the success of seven league titles in a row but without silverware in Europe.

"Juventus have done a beautiful propaganda move for the whole FCA Group," the 60-year-old told La Verita. "So I hope it can help to mask the drop in enthusiasm there would have been among the fans if [coach Massimiliano] Allegri had just been reconfirmed without a big signing.

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"After seven titles in a row, what could be promised to the fans to intrigue and excite them, and do the same with the sponsors and the world of industry and politics? I recognize that the club found a great 'script' to relaunch the Juventus image – chapeau!"

Ronaldo could be the man to end Juve’s forlorn run on the European stage. The Portuguese winger joins ‘The Old Lady’ having won three Champions League titles on the spin with Real, and has a personal haul of five.

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Although the majority of Bianconeri players are still on pre-season duty in the US, Ronaldo was joined at his first training session by Gonzalo Higuain, Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa. The 33-year-old is expected to make his Serie A debut against Chievo on August 19.

Ronaldo's move came after he captained Portugal to a disappointing last 16 finish at the Russia 2018 World Cup. Following their exit, Ronaldo was sentenced to two years in prison and a $19 million fine by Spanish authorities for tax evasion, a term he will not serve.