Ronaldo revealed his thoughts on an underperforming season for Italian giants Juventus in the wake of their premature Champions League exit at home to Lyon on Friday, which saw beleaguered boss Maurizio Sarri sacked and replaced by club legend Andrea Pirlo the following day.
The forward scored a remarkable 37 goals for the club across the course of a season that frequently saw Sarri and the team accused of being too one-dimensional in directing all their tactical energies towards supplying their star performer.
He made no mention of his former manager in his address to fans and was pictured in a familiar pose on a sun lounger by the sea in a photo posted by girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez on Sunday, having reportedly bought a $7 million yacht to go with a limited edition Bugatti car worth almost $11 million.
“Since Ronaldo arrived, Juventus have sacked [Max] Allegri and now Sarri for underperforming,” pointed out one fan.
“Before him, they had [Allegri] employed for five straight years. They should really look at the common denominator in these last two seasons.”
Ronaldo has funded his lavish purchases with a salary that was recently revealed to be worth £31 million at the Serie A champions, giving him a basic wage that is around four times as much as the next highest earner at the club.
“Ronaldo is just a tall dictator,” argued one critic, claiming that the Portugal captain had directly advised the club hierarchy to remove Sarri after a first season in which the former Chelsea coach had been expected to challenge for the Champions League.
“He shipped [midfielder Miralem] Pjanic to Spain so that he can take all the free kicks and now he has told the board to sack poor Sarri. He will never be my greatest player of all time.”
Frustrated at winning the league title every season since 2011 while rarely looking like genuine contenders to repeat their 1996 Champions League win, Juventus signed Ronaldo for $100 million while Allegri was in charge in 2018.
Sarri had hoped he would help the first name on his teamsheet to win a sixth Ballon d’Or title, only to concede that the 35-year-old gave him a “problem” because his tactics were restricted by the need to channel everything through the superstar.
“Allegri and Sarri were not sacked because of underperforming but because Juventus’s aim since they got Ronaldo was [winning the] UCL,” said a Ronaldo supporter. “Sarri was way worse than Allegri.”
Before Rodriguez provided her latest profession of love for him, Ronaldo said he was “very proud” of his achievements for the club and Portugal but accepted that fans “demand more from us.”
“They expect more from us,” he added, speaking at the end of a poor finale to the campaign that included reports of his desire to move to French champions Paris Saint-Germain in the middle of the season.
“We have to deliver, we must live up to the highest expectations.
“It’s time for reflection and time to analyze the ups and downs. Critical thinking is the only way to improve.”