JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal to hand Juventus its first trophy of the season with a 1-0 win over ten-man AC Milan in the Italian Super Cup on Wednesday in Saudi Arabia.
Ronaldo – signed by the Italian giants last year from Real Madrid as they target a first Champions League title since 1996 – headed in a 61st-minute winner.
AC Milan played the last quarter of an hour a man down after Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie saw red for a bad tackle on Emre Can.
“I have my first title with Juventus so I’m happy,” said the Portuguese star who now has 28 trophies, including five Champions League and league titles from England and Spain, and a European Championship with Portugal.
“I really wanted this, to get off to a good start in 2019. This is only the start, we’ll take it one step at a time. We’ve got this cup, now we must keep working hard to achieve the next trophy,” warned Ronaldo.
The match had been overshadowed by controversy with calls for it to be relocated over human rights issues in Saudi Arabia with women only allowed to attend the game if they were accompanied by a man.
Italian football league president Gaetano Micciche hailed the match as a success, with reports there were up to 15,000 women among the 62,000 crowd in the stadium.
“It was a wonderful evening, a festival of sport in a full stadium,” said Micciche.
”I hope that it’s the starting point for social evolution in this country.”