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Hooliganism mar Ronaldo and Juventus’ Champions League preparations
- Updated: September 20, 2018
Juventus players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, were at the receiving end of an act of hooliganism when a rogue group set off firecrackers outside their team hotel.
The incident occurred ahead of the team's Champions League clash against Valencia on Wednesday, with the hoodlums attempting to disrupt the Juventus team's preparations.
'A group of people set off firecrackers and bangers outside the hotel at around three in the morning. They were also holding a banner insulting Juventus,' local government delegate Juan Carlos Fulgencio was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Fulgencio stressed that he was not at liberty to divulge information about arrests, but assured that Ronaldo and his teammates' security had been beefed up for the rest of their stay in Valencia.
'It was a small incident, a simple case of hooliganism,' he added.
Ronaldo, especially, will be looking to put the incident behind him as he aims to make a mark with his new club, with the Group H clash against Valencia being his immediate priority. The Portuguese, after struggling to find his feet in the early stages of Juventus’ Serie A campaign, came to life in Saturday’s game against Sassuolo, netting twice, and will be hoping that that kick-starts his season for the Old Lady.
Juventus, meanwhile, will need Ronaldo, the Champions League’s record goalscorer, to fire on all cylinders if they are to take that final step in Europe. They have been consistently able to reach the final stages of the competition and were defeated by the finalists in both 2015 and 2017.
It was against Real Madrid that Juventus had failed in their bid to win the European Cup last season, being on the receiving end of a Ronaldo wonder goal during their 3-0 loss to Los Blancos in their quarter-final first leg.