It’s almost laughable to look back on the doubts people had about Cristiano Ronaldo being capable of adapting to Serie A football.
After ending his first three competitive matches without a goal, the Portuguese forward has failed to score or assist in only two of his nine appearances since then.
His seven goals and four assists for the Old Lady have all come in league action, putting him second in each of the standings behind Genoa’s Krzysztof Piatek and Suso of Milan.
Even for Ronaldo, it’s a very healthy return for a player who’s meant to be nearing the twilight of his career.
But being no ordinary 33-year-old, it’s barely surprising he still looks capable of spearheading Juve to an eighth Scudetto on the bounce.
The influence Ronaldo has on his new side was no less pertinent than during a 2-1 victory away to struggling Empoli on Saturday afternoon.
Massimiliano Allegri saw his men go behind to last season’s Serie B champions at the 28-minute mark, courtesy of a tidy finish from Francesco Caputo.
Their lead was preserved until nine minutes into the second half when the referee awarded Juve a penalty for Ismael Bennacer’s foul on Paulo Dybala.
Ronaldo, of course, was the man to step up and convert.
The stage was set for someone to win it for the Turin giants and with 20 minutes remaining, the £99m summer signing duly obliged by firing into the top corner of Ivan Provedel’s net from 25 yards.
As you can see in the video below, it was a worthy match-winner…
However, for all of his highlights throughout the 90 minutes, Ronaldo produced some of his finer work during the pre-match formalities.
As the two sides emerged from the tunnel at Stadio Carlo Castellani, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner made an extra effort to hold hands with his designated mascot before giving him a book, too.
He also shared a joke with and tussled the hair of another mascot to boot.
It’s no wonder Ronaldo is a good mood - Juve are enjoying their joint-best start to a Serie A campaign having taken 28 points from their opening ten fixtures.
That said, Allegri has to get his men prepared for a series of testing clashes between now and early December.
Within their next seven outings, the Bianconeri will take on Manchester United, Milan, Valencia, Fiorentina and Inter.