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Ronaldo-less Juventus deemed a Europa League team

Cristiano Ronaldo - Juventus
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It once again proved on Saturday night that the Italian champions cannot function well in the absence of the prolific Portuguese.

Juventus entered their previous Serie A match, against Benevento, without Cristiano Ronaldo in the line-up.

Andrea Pirlo had decided to give some much-needed rest to Ronaldo, who has had a tough year so far with various fitness issues.

Pirlo might be filled with regret over his decision after the match as his side dropped two crucial points in the title race after being held to a 1-1 draw away from home.

That was not the first time the Bianconeri had stumbled in the absence of their star man.

CR7 did not play against Crotone and Verona after his positive COVID-19 diagnosis, and his side failed to win either of the games. Furthermore, his absence in the opening match of the Champions League against FC Barcelona saw his side suffer a 2-0 loss.

Ronaldo, despite missing several games, is Juve’s leading goalscorer this season, just like he was in both the previous seasons after joining the team from Real Madrid in 2018.

It’s hard to not depend on someone as prolific and reliable as him but this overreliance could hurt Juve deeply in the long run, especially considering the 35-year-old will not be around for too long.

“Without CR7, in particular, this team would probably struggle to rank in the places that count for the Champions League,” journalist Stefano Discreti writes on Calciomercato.

“The nerve department of the camp continues to highlight evident gaps both in terms of quality and quantity. 

“You may have lost all the points you want on the road, you can continue to make mistakes in interpreters and schemes, but as long as you have Cristiano Ronaldo in your team, you always have the obligation to believe in the championship to the end.”