Ronaldo recently sealed a second successive Scudetto with Juventus, top-scoring with 31 Serie A goals and tying the Turin club’s all-time record tally for a single league campaign. 

But despite that feat the 35-year-old serial winner has endured frustrations during a season in which he struggled with injury for spells and in which Juventus stumbled over the finish line rather than ran away with the title in the dominant fashion they have become accustomed to in previous seasons. 

For a period in October and November there were reports of particularly strained relations between Ronaldo and new Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri, who took the seemingly unthinkable step of substituting the forward two games in a row as the Portuguese star struggled for form and fitness.

According to a report in France Football – the respected magazine which has awarded Ronaldo five Ballon d’Or accolades for the world’s best player – Ronaldo’s grievances became so apparent after a labored 2-1 Champions League win against Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow in Turin on October 22 that the Portuguese star contemplated a move to PSG.

The ‘grumpy’ star was reportedly unhappy that the Juventus team appeared unable to provide him with the kind of platform he needed to add to his five Champions League triumphs, to such an extent that  he “dreamed of an association with Neymar, to whom he is close, or Mbappé, whom he adores.

“In the entourage very close to the player, it was recently estimated as ‘very probable’ of the chances of departure of CR7 before (the coronavirus) confinement (began),” the report adds, noting however that the Covid-19 crisis has meant any kind of big-money move for Ronaldo would now be firmly off the table.

Ronaldo’s frustrations earlier in the season appeared increasingly evident, in particular after he was substituted during the second Champions League game with Lokomotiv in Moscow in November, and then days later reportedly stormed out of the stadium before the game had even finished when he was hooked off in the 55th minute of the Serie A clash with AC Milan. 

Juventus boss Sarri attempted to smooth things over by stating that the forward was simply struggling with a lingering knee injury, only for Ronaldo himself to dismiss that idea when on duty with Portugal and stating  that he was “very well.”

READ MORE: ‘The captain is well, very well’: Cristiano Ronaldo ‘very fit’ despite Juventus saying he’s nursing knee injury 

Any differences appear to have been patched up however, as Ronaldo went on a fine scoring run after the resumption of football in Italy, netting 10 times in 11 games at the close of the campaign. 

Posting on Instagram after Juventus celebrated a ninth straight Scudetto and a second personal Italian league title, Ronaldo wrote what he wanted to “go for my third.”

Ronaldo’s ultimate satisfaction at the club will likely be judged not on the domestic front but rather in Europe, where Juventus have gone more than two decades without a Champions League title.

They will try to rectify that when they host French team Lyon in their last 16 second leg on Friday, but will need to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first meeting.

Overcome Lyon and a daunting tie against Manchester City or Ronaldo’s former club Real Madrid awaits in the quarter-finals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Shenhua and SIPG draw in Shanghai derby

SUZHOU – The Shanghai derby between Shenhua and SIPG ended goalless here in the 15th round of the Chinese Super League (CSL) here on Sunday. In the 38th minute, aiming to receive Feng Xiaoting’s long pass from the backfield, Bi…

NASCAR postpones Martinsville race

NASCAR announced Friday that it has postponed the May 8-9 race weekend at Martinsville Speedway, making it the eighth Cup event to be postponed during the COVID-19 pandemic. NASCAR said in a statement that “our intention remains to run all…

SIPG exit flips the script on Akhmedov’s season

Long-serving Uzbek midfielder leaves title hopefuls for struggling Tianjin Odil Akhmedov’s midseason switch from Shanghai SIPG to Tianjin Teda was as surprising to himself as it was the fans. But now the Uzbek midfielder has vowed to shift his focus…

Fury: People still think it’s acceptable to be racist to travellers

The Independent employs over 100 journalists around the world to bring you news you can trust. Please consider a contribution or subscription. Tyson Fury has revealed that he is frequently subjected to racist abuse in the UK due to his…