Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Juventus to join Manchester United at the last minute, has been criticalised by his former teammates Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.
Andrea Agnelli, chairman of Juventus, is the latest to comment on Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer from Juventus to Manchester United. He insists that he is not as important as the club.
After scoring 81 goals in 98 Serie A games, the Portuguese player, now 36, quit the Italian giants at the deadline. He also won two league titles as well as the Coppa Italia.
As quoted by Calciomercato, Agnelli told reporters on Friday: “It was an honour and a pleasure to have him.
“We can only applaud him for what he did on the field and thank him for how much he made us rejoice. The one sin is to have had him with a year and a half of an empty stadium.
“Alvaro Morata is correct, but it is the Juventus shirt which requires responsibility. Juventus is greater than any other participant. Juventus is always ahead of anyone.”
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In recent weeks, Ronaldo has been under fire from several people at Juventus, including ex-team-mates Giorgio Chiellini (and Leonardo Bonucci).
Chiellini said: “I had already figured out he could leave this summer, because we reached a stage of the working relationship where Cristiano needed new motivation and a team that would play for him.
“He can be decisive when he finds a team such as that.
“Juventus are beginning a process of renewal and trying to bring the average age down, so clearly he would’ve been an added bonus if he’d stayed, but it’s fair he wanted a team more focused on the present than the future.
“Ronaldo left on August 28 and it certainly would’ve been better if he had gone earlier so we could prepare. Unfortunately, we paid a price for that.
“It is a shock to our system. In fact, we lost points in the first game because of it. If he’d left on August 1, then we would’ve had time to reorganise and be ready for the start of the season.”
Bonucci, meanwhile, said: “Ronaldo made a choice we could respect. “Last year the team played for him, now the group must rediscover that Juve spirit that was there before his arrival.
“Cristiano’s presence had a big influence on us. Training with him was enough to give us an extra edge, but subconsciously, players realized that his presence alone was enough for them to win games.
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“We began to fall a little short in our daily work, the humility, the sacrifice, the desire to be there for your team-mate day after day. Over the last few years, I think you could see that.”
Ronaldo has since retorted against the comments and told reporters: “To be honest, I’m 36. I win everything, so am I going to be worried about the people who say bad things about me?
“I am a good sleeper at night. I get up in the morning with a clear conscience. Continue to do that, because I will continue to close my mouths and win things.”