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Allegri & Nedved explain decision to bench Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus
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The Juventus manager and vice-president spoke on Cristiano Ronaldo’s surprise absence from the line-up against Udinese.

Massimiliano Allegri claims it was his decision to bench Cristiano Ronaldo and Pavel Nedved has again insisted the Portuguese will stay in Turin.

Allegri began his second spell as manager on Sunday by benching Ronaldo at Udinese. As per Fabrizio Romano, Cristiano requested him to do so as he looks to ‘find a solution’ before the transfer window closes on August 31. As things stand, though, no offers have arrived on the club’s doorstep.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner instead replaced Alvaro Morata as a 59th-minute substitute. He almost grabbed an injury-time winner, only for a VAR review to rule out his header for offside. It meant Juventus had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Udinese.

What did Allegri say?

“Ronaldo is feeling well,” Allegri told DAZN once the match had ended.

“I had talked to him before the game, telling him he would start on the bench. He made himself available. He did well when he entered the pitch.”

Nedved again insists Ronaldo is staying

Juventus vice-president Pavel Nedved, meanwhile, again played down the prospect of Ronaldo leaving this summer. He insisted the decision to bench the Portugal international was fitness-related, nothing else.

Speaking to DAZN, Nedved said: “We mustn’t try to create sensational stories where there aren’t any.

“It was a decision shared with the player. At the start of the season, naturally, he is not at top fitness. The coach is trying to use the best line-up at this moment.

“I can absolutely confirm Ronaldo will remain at Juventus this season.”

Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado scored inside the opening 23 minutes of the match on Sunday to hand Juventus a two-goal lead. But an atrocious second-half display opened the door for a Udinese comeback. Roberto Pereyra scored a penalty to pull one back for the hosts before Gerard Deulofeu grabbed a late equalizer to settle a 2-2 draw.

Juventus will now welcome the newly promoted Empoli to the Allianz Stadium this Saturday.