Leonardo Bonucci issues Manchester United a Cristiano Ronaldo warning despite Champions League heroics
Juventus face early struggles
Four consecutive wins have largely papered over an awful start for Max Allegri’s second spell in charge of Juventus.
The Italian oversaw the club drop points to Udinese, Empoli, Napoli and AC Milan in their opening four games of the season, which saw them hovering dangerously close to the relegation zone.
Although they have since beaten Roma and maintained a 100% record in the Champions League group stage (including an impressive 1-0 win over Chelsea in Turin), they remain 10 points behind early Serie A pace-setters Napoli, and 8 behind second placed AC Milan.
FT | TRE PUNTI, PUNTEGGIO PIENO E PRIMATO NEL GIRONE ⚪️⚫️
Decide la girata di testa di #Kulusevski ⚽️#ZenitJuve [0-1] #ForzaJuve #JuveUCL pic.twitter.com/5kPgx2Bm2B
— JuventusFC (@juventusfc) October 20, 2021
Their preperations for the new season were marred by the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United, with a move finally forthcoming in the dying stages of the window, and it safe to say that club veterans Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci believe that this had a large role to play.
Chiellini and Bonucci speak out
Now, speaking to DAZN Italia, Chiellini has revealed the effect that Ronaldo’s departure had on the side, and admitted that it was awful for the team, saying:
“Ronaldo left on 28 August, it would have been better for us if he had left earlier. We paid something for it, a little bit of a shock, we paid something for it in terms of points. If he had left earlier we would have had time to prepare better.”
🗣: “Ronaldo left on 28 August, it would have been better for us if he had left earlier. We paid something for it, a little bit of a shock, we paid something for it in terms of points. If he had left earlier we would have had time to prepare better.”
[Chiellini / @DAZN_IT] pic.twitter.com/INSmt8zi6k
— Bianconeri Zone (@BianconeriZone) October 21, 2021
Meanwhile, his fellow defensive stalwart Leonardo Bonucci was quick to note the reason why they struggled, namely over-reliance on Ronaldo. The Euro2020 winner revealed:
“In recent past Juventus didn’t play as team: we all played to make him able to score. We had lost the ability to suffer together thinking he could have fix everything”
Woof, shots fired by Bonucci over Cristiano Ronaldo: “In recent past Juventus didn’t play as team: we all played to make him able to score. We had lost the ability to suffer together thinking he could have fix everything”
Solskjaer, Manchester United, ringing any bell?
— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) October 21, 2021
Will Juventus emerge from the post-Ronaldo era a stronger side, and conversely will he have the same effect on Manchester United, or can they find ways to win without him too?
So far, their increasing reliance on the maestro seems clear.