Juventus recently lost the Coppa Italia final against Napoli and their poor showing against Milan has also attracted a lot of criticism.
Manager Maurizio Sarri aimed a dig at star player Cristiano Ronaldo after the final loss. He claimed that Ronaldo was lacking sharpness and fitness in that game.
Now the Juventus manager has revealed that he has spoken to the Juventus star at length and Ronaldo wants to play in a wider role.
Ronaldo was used centrally in the recent outings and Sarri claims that the Portuguese ace is lacking in fitness and there are other wide options available at the time. It seems the former Real Madrid star will have to be at his best physically to return to his natural role.
It will be interesting to see if Ronaldo is played in his preferred position from now. He has always been at his best when he is in a wider role and Juventus should look to use him in his natural position if they want him to deliver consistently.
Ronaldo is in the twilight years of his career now and it might be difficult for him to adjust to a new role under Sarri. The Italian will have to adapt to his key star’s strengths and devise a strategy that gets the most out of his players.
Speaking to the media, Sarri said: “Losing a trophy is always painful, but we mustn’t beat ourselves up. The lack of goals could well be an issue of general sharpness, as we keep the ball for long periods and control the game, but can’t finish our chances. Considering the quality in the squad, I cannot imagine we’ll struggle in front of goal for long. I talked to Ronaldo before the Coppa Italia games with Milan and Napoli, and again yesterday. He scored 700 goals by starting slightly wide of the centre, that’s his preference and that is normal. I called the three lads to me and talked to them about what we ought to do in the Final. Analysing it with them, we decided to try with Paulo Dybala in a more central position.
“I spoke with Ronaldo for a long time yesterday and I hope that from tomorrow, at most in a week, he’ll get back to being the usual fantastic player we know. It’s just that he’s not physically at his best right now. We’ve got solutions on the wings like Federico Bernardeschi or moving Juan Cuadrado, but fitness levels are going to be more important than anything else in my choices right now.”