Cristiano Ronaldo, the Juventus star, has already been replaced 136 times in his almost 900 competitive games throughout his illustrious career.
But the former Real Madrid winger has never experienced anything like this before. For the second time in a row, his coach picked him up from the pitch as his team needed goals.
Sarri kept his changes right – but of course it still boils
Maurizio Sarri was right on both occasions – against Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League, where Juventus won just as well (2: 1) as Milan on Sunday (1-0).
That time also Ronaldo substitute Paulo Dybala scored the winning goal and Juve’s championship lead secured. But of course it’s still boiling in Turin anyway.
While Ronaldo was at least still eagerly sitting on the bench after his substitution against Moscow (81 minutes), he now stormed directly into the cabin as Sarri asked him to go to the sideline in the 55th minute.
“Sky Sport Italia” reported that evening that Ronaldo had left the stadium prematurely – exactly three minutes before the final whistle.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) November 10, 2019
Ronaldo is still suffering from a knee exhaustion from October
Why Ronaldo is having such a hard time with Sarri? “I have no problem with him” the coach, who had previously shown at Chelsea and Eden Hazard his last season, assured that he has no hesitation in playing with the top force of his squad if he thinks it is right.
“You should be grateful to him for making himself available, even though he’s not in the best of shape,” Sarri even praised, reporting on a knee hit that Ronaldo got in training in October and which still bothers him, “when he is exercising or playing with high intensity”.
The result of this knock altered the load and also affected the calf and thigh muscles, Sarri said. “And that affects his performance.”
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) November 11, 2019
Was Ronaldo’s departure not disrespectful? Sarri sees that, too
Whether Ronaldo sees the same, remains questionable. However, Sarri did not mind that he showed his anger again. “All players who want to do their best are angry for at least five minutes when they are replaced – every coach would be worried if it were otherwise.”
But if Ronaldo really just fled the stadium? Would not that be a disrespect? Sarri also sees this calmly: “If that’s true, that’s a problem that he has to clarify with his teammates.”