• Analysis

Juventus expect too much from Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo Lionel Messi Juventus Serie A
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The Portugal captain gave Old Lady the lead but could not stop them from losing with 10 men after Cuadrado’s 70th minute sending off.

Cristiano Ronaldo is synonymous with goals. The Portuguese forward gets on the score board frequently. He likes the fans to cheer his name. And at 34 years of age, he is still going strong at.

Juventus wants him to deliver European and domestic glory. They want him to understand Sarri-ball and thrive in it. They want him to score. They want him to create. They want him to be end-all of everything at Allianz Stadium.

Against Lazio, Ronaldo was expected to get on the score board. And he managed and could have possibly added another.

He has not had a great year according to his lofty standards, but Messi’s sixth Ballor d’Or award was supposed to spur him on. With added motivation, the Portuguese striker hit the back of the net within 30 minutes.

But at Stadio Olimpico, Lazio would not be held back. Especially with numerical advantage after Juan Cuadrado was given his marching orders twenty minutes from time. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic would give the Romans the lead, while Felipe Caicedo would put the result beyond doubt.

The defeat consigns Juventus to second place, two points behind surprise title challengers, Inter Milan. After their unimpressive draw at home to Sassulo, they should have secured the points against Lazio. They have managed to do so in recent years. But it is a tough task when you are a man down. The VAR backed decision cost the Old Lady dearly.

Ronaldo ‘should’ have scored more

Nevertheless, Ronaldo should have gotten them across the line.

He did try though. And he was in his element. The Madeira born attacker troubled Lazio’s defense with his dribbles, gave key passes that should have been converted, and had shots on goal. His header should have made it 2-0, alas it was not to be.

However, there was more expected from Ronaldo. You always expect more from Ronaldo. Especially with Lionel Messi continuing his rich vein of form in free scoring Catalonia.

Fans miss the distinction of Italian and Spanish footballing styles during this comparisons. If you have an attacking mindset and a team built around you, you score goals in La Liga. The referees protect you, and the gulf between the top sides and the rest makes it easier.

It is difficult to take your proficiency from Spain to Italy. The Brazilian Ronaldo managed it but only for a single season. He spent rest of his time in Serie A getting treated.

Cristiano is going through a transition phase right now. He is used to scoring goals. It is part of his reality.

He is used to getting a goal every game. It is how he has evolved as a forward. He is not used to losing. It is not part of his DNA. He is used to being the center of attention. But at 34, it is not possible anymore. He cannot be everywhere all the time.

Cristiano Ronaldo needs to pick his battles if he has to thrive in Turin. He needs to evolve again, if he has to win another Champions League. Another Ballon d’Or.