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Cristiano Ronaldo is “selfish” and is struggling to adapt to Andrea Pirlo’s style of play at Juventus, according to former Italian international Antonio Cassano.
Juventus suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat at Porto in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday, with Federico Chiesa scoring in the 82nd minute after Mehdi Taremi and Moussa Marega put the team in by Sergio Conceicao in control.
Ronaldo provided two key passes and only had one shot on goal in the match, with the Bianconeri facing possible elimination in the first knockout round for the second consecutive season. It was the first time that Ronaldo registered one shot or less in a Champions League game since November 2019 against Atlético de Madrid.
Juve spent € 112 million to bring five-time Champions League champion Ronaldo to Turin in 2018 with the aim of increasing his chances of lifting the trophy for the first time since 1996.
Cassano thinks Ronaldo has had trouble adjusting to rookie head coach Pirlo’s philosophy and is too focused on himself to help the team.
“I have always said, even though he is a phenomenon and has scored a billion goals, that with Andrea Pirlo’s idea of football he could have difficulties,” Cassano said on Christian Vieri’s Twitch channel BoboTV.
Hope back for Juventus?
– UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 17, 2021
“He scores one goal per game, it’s true, but he struggles with the idea of Andrea. He’s always been a bit selfish, he doesn’t give a damn if others score goals.
“He is the type of player who lives to score, not for the game, for the big game. He lives to score and at this moment the situation worsens. The years go by for everyone and he is having difficulties.
“The paradox is that Juventus have bought a player who has won five Champions League but has so many difficulties in the Champions League.
“This is because, from Sarri, Juventus is trying to show a different style to its history. It is clear that Pirlo must be tried in four or five years, but Juventus wants everything immediately. “
Ronaldo has scored 88 goals in 116 games in all Juve competitions and provided 19 assists. Juan Cuadrado (21) is the only Juventus player to have scored the most goals since the arrival of the Portugal captain before the 2018-19 season.