Five game days before the end of the Serie A season, Inter Milan are practically through and will win their first Scudetto since 2010. The lead on the new runner-up Atalanta is now eleven points. Behind them is serial champion Juventus, who is now 13 points behind Inter. But Serie A could still be exciting if Cristiano Ronaldo hadn’t been sidelined in four league games…
The 36-year-old Portuguese has been criticized again and again this season. He could no longer call up his performance potential and would now finally be on the decline. The record of the “Vecchia Signora” when Ronaldo is missing is devastating – at least in Serie A: Juve only got three points from four games without CR7. His first failure of the current season, in October 2020, gave Juventus the first crack. Away at Crotone, as well as at home against Hellas Verona, there were only two 1-1 draws during the superstar’s COVID-19 illness. A representative for this are the statistics and trends of the live tool Overlyzer in the game against Hellas Verona, in which Juventus was unable to build up dominance and was only able to build up a period of pressure for the first time after a few offensive substitutions in the final stages of the game.
Weak performance against Benevento
About a month later, Juventus scored another disappointing 1-1 away at Benevento – also without Ronaldo. This game was even more disappointing for the top team, especially as Álvaro Morata gave Juventus the lead and the favorite dominated much of the game. In Benevento’s team three players were injured in the course of the game, but right-back Gaetano Letizia managed to equalize just before the halftime break, which the underdog was able to bring over time. Juventus were the superior team, had significantly more possession, but without Ronaldo the surprise moments in the game of Turin were missing. In the previous three games, the Portuguese had scored five goals in just 200 minutes on the pitch.
Atalanta overtakes Juventus without Ronaldo
Measurable statistical drops
Juventus dropped nine points in just four games without their leading light. In his 29 games in the current league season, Ronaldo scored 25 goals and assisted for two more. The star from Funchal was always called up as a center forward, with the exception of the game at Lazio Rome, where he played as a left winger. Even if Ronaldo was on the field in some disappointing Juventus games as well, the drop in performance of the “Vecchia Signora” is statistically measurable when Ronaldo is not on the field.
Is Ronaldo switching to an old love?
Recently there have been rumors about a possible transfer of the 173-time national player. Juventus can no longer afford the expensive megastar and above all has to get him off the payroll. With Real Madrid, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, prominent names are on the list of interested parties. Ronaldo knows two of them all too well from his past. However, especially in times of the recently canceled Super League, the question arises as to how “Los Blancos”, who, according to numerous media reports, are in pole position for the signature of their former star, could afford an expensive player like Ronaldo with their huge mountain of debt.
Lisbon is supposed to be the last stop
The question of Ronaldo’s next transfer could cause waves in the media. Especially in times when only a few observers accept the astronomical sums that are currently circulating in the football business, a more modest approach might be the more sustainable way. The last transfer of Ronaldo will be a bit long in coming, by the way, if you want to trust the player’s predictions: The 36-year-old recently stated that he would like to end his career with his development club Sporting Lisbon. If necessary also “low-priced”.