Juventus: On Cristiano Ronaldo’s fiasco in the Champions League


In fact, these two managerial decisions are contradictory. If you go for a superstar like Ronaldo, you need a flexible coach who can adjust the lineup in order to maximize the benefit from it without compromising team performance – Allegri is the classic example of such a professional. If one goes for a fixed coach like Sari, who implements only one pattern that requires high pressure that Ronaldo has never applied, one has to adjust the staff for him. Together it does not go, and the fans felt it from the first moment. “We chose Maurizio because he is the best coach for Juventus at this stage,” Aneili declared last summer, but very few agreed with the statement.

In the end, Yuba won the championship, and Sari joked with his players: “You have to be good if you were able to do that with me.” Self-humor is admirable, but it has considerable truth in it. Juventus did not really get the flashy football that characterized Sari’s Napoli, but quite the opposite – it became even more boring compared to the Allegri era, and depended mainly on Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala’s brilliance. Bottom line, even though the Portuguese has bombed 31 league goals, the old lady has scored only 70 times, and is inferior to Inter, Lazio and Roma, not to mention 98 of Atlanta’s right goals.

As for defense, Giorgio Chiellini’s injury at the start of the season proved to be critical, and Mace de Licht struggled to demonstrate stability in his first season at the club. 40 mandatory goals were a very significant setback compared to 30 last season, and 24 in the 2017/18 season before the arrival of Ronaldo. In fact, it was the worst balance since 2010/11, i.e. before the start of the championship streak. Also, Sari’s 83 points are inferior compared to all seasons with Allegri or with Antonio Conte on the bench. It has been the least impressive and least convincing championship in the last decade, and most of the concerns about the identity of the coach have come true. There was only one way to save this season – Ronaldo’s charm was supposed to carry the old lady to success in the European arena.


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