• News

Maurizio Sarri won’t strip Cristiano Ronaldo of free-kick duties

Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus, Serie A, Maurizio Sarri
Advertisement

Maurizio Sarri insists he won’t step in and remove Cristiano Ronaldo from free-kick duties for Juventus despite his recent record.

Critics have pressured Sarri into stopping Ronaldo from taking free-kicks in recent weeks. They want Miralem Pjanic and Paulo Dybala doing the honours for Juventus instead.

This comes in light of the revelation that Ronaldo has failed to score in any of his 28 attempts at a free-kick for Juventus.

The Portuguese superstar has seen seven of his efforts saved, with two misses and 19 of them incredibly hitting the wall. So, for the first time in his Turin career, he finds himself in the firing line.

Not helping matters either was Ronaldo’s two failed attempts during Tuesday’s 2-1 Champions League win against Lokomotiv Moscow.

Speaking ahead to Juventus’ trip to Lecce on Saturday, however, Sarri insisted he won’t interfere after giving Ronaldo a rest for this weekend.

“The free-kicks? We have two right-footed options on the pitch: him (Pjanic) and Ronaldo,” said the Bianconeri boss, according to Daily Mail.

“So they will have to decide among themselves who takes them, as happens in just about any other side.”

Nevertheless, Ronaldo has scored 33 goals in 53 appearances for Juventus since his €112m arrival from Real Madrid last year.

Out of all his 701 career goals, though, only 55 of them have come from free-kicks. He scored 13 for Manchester United in a six-year spell before banging another 30 for Real Madrid between 2009 and 2018.

Therefore, the Italian fans feel Ronaldo should take a backseat and allow Pjanic to become the main man in Turin.

The Bosnian playmaker is actually the Serie A’s seventh-highest scorer in terms of free-kicks scored on 15.

Bologna manager Sinisa Mihajlovic along with Juventus and AC Milan legend Andrea Pirlo are top of the charts having scored 28 free-kicks in their respective careers.

Miralem Pjanic, Juventus
TURIN, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 28: Miralem Pjanic of Juventus.
Loading