What’s Going On With Ronaldo And Juventus?

Ronaldo And Juventus

Juventus suffered their first Serie A defeat this season after losing 3-1 to Lazio last night, which left them two points behind rivals Inter.

Ronaldo scored the opener but the goal was not enough to secure the victory.
And in the game before, when Juventus only got a 2-2 draw with Sassuolo, Ronaldo merely had any contribution aside from a penalty goal, as well as blocked an effort from Paulo Dybala.

The old Lady signed him in order to clinch the Champions League trophy but now they seemingly couldn’t defend the Scudetto … so what’s wrong?

One week before, Ronaldo picked up his MVP trophy at the Serie A awards.

Meanwhile, his old rival Lionel Messi was at the Ballon d’Or ceremony, which Ronaldo had chosen not to attend, claiming his record sixth award.

“The competition between me and Messi is over? No, it is just starting,” said Ronaldo in a post-award interview.

However, the chances of the 34-year-old leveling Messi next year look slim, unless he can redress what has been an underwhelming start to the season by his own other-worldly standards.

Ronaldo has managed eight goals in 17 appearances for Juventus this campaign while registering just one assist.

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For any normal footballer this sort of output would be cause for celebration, however for the Portuguese international it represents one of his worst starts to a season in a decade.

In hindsight, there were perhaps some warning signs last that foreshadowed this downturn in form.

He managed just two goal contributions in his final eight Serie A games last campaign, while a tired-looking Ronaldo could not prevent his side from Champions League elimination by Ajax in the quarter-finals.

He still popped up with some moments of brilliance of course.

A hat trick against Atletico Madrid to overturn a first-leg deficit of two goals was particularly outrageous, but in general Ronaldo’s performances in the second half of the season were far removed from the dizzying 450 goals in 438 games that he registered at Real Madrid.

It was this eight years of dominance at Santiago Bernabeu that convinced Juventus to splash around €100m on the then 33-year-old. The Old Lady even gave him a four-year-deal, and why wouldn’t they?

Despite his advancing years, Ronaldo had shown no signs of slowing down. He looked fitter and faster than most players in the world and scored 44 goals in as many games during his final season with Los Blancos.

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Flash forward a year-and-a-half and the Serie A questions must surely be questioning their decision – even if it is only slightly.

The €31m-a-year salary that Ronaldo allegedly receives is a staggering three times more than any other player in the league and simply put, CR7 is not currently justifying his astronomical wage.

The forward has managed 10 fewer goals than top scorer Ciro Immobile this season, while four others scored more including Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez.

Ronaldo is similarly lacking in assists, sitting well outside the top ten, which begs the question: what is he offering to the Old Lady this campaign?

One thing that he has and always will offer is commercial value.

A Financial Times report recently revealed the full extent of Ronaldo’s financial power by finding that the club’s product and licensing revenue increased by €16m after he joined.

Juventus signed 520,000 shirts in the 24 hours that followed the announcement of his arrival, while his social media influence has also seen the club’s Instagram following skyrocket from 10m to 34.4m.

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Ronaldo’s signing was always therefore going to be more about just his performances on the field, but taking his footballing displays in isolation this season – something does seem wrong.

Perhaps he does not get on with Maurizio Sarri, who attracted the ire of the forward after having the audacity to substitute him when he wasn’t play very well in a series of football matches last month.

Perhaps age is finally catching up with the once untouchable freak of nature.

Or perhaps he just does not fit the system and his side needs to redeploy out-and-out wingers to get the best out of one of the best finishers the world’s ever seen.

Whatever is wrong, Juventus will want it sorted out as soon as possible. 34.4m Instagram followers and a bunch of shirt sales will be little consolation if Antonio Conte’s Inter can end their stranglehold on the Serie A title this season

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