Adrien Rabiot admits the opportunity to play alongside “great champion” Cristiano Ronaldo and sage advice from Gianluigi Buffon influenced his decision to sign for Juventus.
French midfielder Rabiot joined his new club on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain on Monday.
The 24-year-old reportedly rebuffed interest from Manchester United and described Juventus as a “step up” from Ligue 1 champions PSG as he faced the media for the first time in Turin.
Part of the allure, Rabiot revealed, was the prospect of calling Portugal superstar Ronaldo a team-mate.
“I had the chance to grow up playing with top players, which helped me a lot,” Rabiot said.
“Ronaldo is a great champion. The chance to play with him definitely had a bearing on my decision.
“But I know the whole dressing room is packed with world-class players and a positive spirit.”
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) July 2, 2019
Rabiot’s seven seasons in PSG’s first team saw him rub shoulders with current Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi and Bianconeri great Buffon, who spent the past 12 months at Parc des Princes.
Buffon, now a free agent, has been linked with a return to the Serie A champions and played a crucial role in guiding Rabiot towards Allianz Stadium.
“Gigi spoke to me a lot about Juventus and his opinion matters a lot,” the six-cap France international said.
“He knows the club very well and told me many interesting things.
“He told me that if I wanted to take a step forward in my career I had to choose Juve, so I did. I have a lot of respect for him and I listened to him.
“Juve is a very prestigious club with great experience in Europe. They often reach the last stages.
“As I see it, I’m at a club which is clearly at a higher level of PSG, which is what inspired me a lot to make this choice.”
Rabiot will wear the number 25 shirt. The length of his contract has not been confirmed.
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