Juventus giant Gianluigi Buffon has joined the list of players happy to slate Cristiano Ronaldo for his time at the club.
Ronaldo, 36, spent three years in Turin before returning to Old Trafford in August this year. It was a successful stint with the Old Lady as the Portugal skipper bagged 101 goals from 134 appearances. He walked away with two Serie A winner’s medals while also claiming the Coppa Italia.
But the former Real Madrid ace was unable to deliver Europe’s biggest prize – the Champions League. Defender Leonardo Bonucci suggested back in September that Ronaldo being at the club had a negative effect on the squad.
“This was the thing, the idea that one player, even the best in the world, could guarantee Juventus victory,” he told The Athletic.
“Cristiano’s presence had a big influence on us. Just training with him gave us something extra but subconsciously players started to think his presence alone was enough to win games.”
Other players have already called out the veteran forward and now Buffon has added his thoughts on the issue.
“Juventus had the chance to win the Champions League the first year he arrived, which was the year I was at Paris Saint-Germain, and I couldn’t figure out what happened,” he told TUDN.com, per The Mirror.
“When I returned, I worked with CR7 for two years and we did well together, but I think Juventus lost that DNA of being a team.
“We reached the Champions League final in 2017 because we were a side full of experience. But above all we were a single unit and there was this competition for places within the group that was very strong. We lost that with Ronaldo.”
Solskjaer pays price for Ronaldo ‘effect’
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was influential in bringing Ronaldo back to the Theatre of Dreams. He first left the club for Real in 2009 after scoring 118 goals from 292 outings.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner hit the ground running this term and has found the net 13 times to date. But he is said to have disrupted the Norwegian’s plans to play a pressing game.
Accused of being tactically naive, the Champions League winner was dismissed and replaced by Ralf Rangnick. It remains to be seen what impact the German has on proceedings over the second half of the season.
United are desperate to finish in the top four but sit sixth at Christmas, five points behind fourth-placed Arsenal.
However, the north-west giants do have two games in hand and are next in action against Newcastle on Monday – Covid permitting.
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