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‘Not Ronaldo’s fault’ – Buffon clarifies CR7-Juventus comments

Gianluigi Buffon, Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus
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The goalkeeper has explained what he meant by his claim that Ronaldo changed the ‘DNA’ of Juventus.

Gianluigi Buffon has defended Cristiano Ronaldo, insisting he doesn’t blame his former Juventus teammate for the club’s downfall.

Despite scoring 36 goals in all competitions, Ronaldo’s brilliance wasn’t enough to spare Juventus of their first Serie A title defeat in a decade last season nor a Champions League last-16 exit to Porto.

He left the club last summer for Manchester United with a tally of 101 goals and 22 assists in 134 games, a league MVP award, the Serie A Golden Boot, and five trophies from three years in Turin.

However, with the club outside the Serie A top-four in the post-Ronaldo era, Buffon appeared to suggest Juve lost their DNA during the Portuguese’s time in Italy.

What did Buffon say previously?

In an interview with  TUDN last month, the goalkeeper said: “We reached the Champions League final in 2017 because we were a side full of experience – above all we were a single unit and there was this competition for places within the group that was very strong. We lost that with Ronaldo.”

Buffon explains what he meant

In another interview, this time with Italian outlet Corriere della Sera, the 43-year-old clarified that he wasn’t blaming Ronaldo at all.

“I said that a certain DNA had been lost with him because I think so, and on deeper reflection I can say that clearly it’s not Cristiano’s fault, because he’s top and when you sign a player of that caliber you know what you’re getting into.

“You have to understand if the others are prepared and in my opinion many players weren’t ready to share a certain type of experience. Whether you like it or not, everyone feels like Cristiano and this should never happen, especially in a club like Juve.

“When he arrived in Turin, I went to Paris [PSG]. And when I came back I saw something different, that didn’t remind me of what I left behind.”

Buffon, like Ronaldo, left Juventus last summer to rejoin former club Parma in Serie B.