Paulo Dybala has spoken of his fondness for Juventus team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo - not something he necessarily expected to be the case.
Cristiano Ronaldo surprised Paulo Dybala with his personable dressing room manner after joining Juventus, the Argentina international has admitted.
Ronaldo ended a record-breaking spell at Real Madrid by switching to Juve in July 2018, proving an instant hit with the Bianconeri faithful.
However, Dybala conceded he was unsure what sort of personality awaited him when the time came to train day in, day out alongside the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.
"On a personal level, he surprised me for good, because obviously I did not know him, none of us [at Juventus] knew about him, even though in the previous Champions League, we were eliminated from the competition by his penalty," the 26-year-old said in an interview with AFA Play.
"Everyone was looking forward to it when it became known that he would arrive.
"But then we find something else, as a person he is an excellent guy, very sociable, very friendly inside and outside the dressing room, always ready to talk, to listen.
"That's something that surprised me, being such an important figure, many times they are not like this.
"I once sat down to talk to him, we were travelling and I said to him, 'Look, we in Argentina hate you a little bit for your appearance, for your way of being, of walking, and those things... and the truth is that you surprised me because I see something else now'.
"And he laughed and said, "I already know that is so, but I know how I am. I am used to being criticized for that'. And I started to see him differently."
Dybala, who is recovering having tested positive for coronavirus, felt he and Ronaldo were enjoying a burgeoning on-field relationship too before the Serie A season was placed on hiatus.
The Portugal superstar has already matched his top-flight goals tally of 21 from last season.
"On the pitch, maybe in the first year, we did not have the intensity that we do this year," he added.
"Unfortunately, because of everything that is happening now, we were cut off, but we were finding a lot of good feeling.
"I was finding more of his movements, his forms, his skills on the pitch than the first year."