Cristiano Ronaldo transfer a mistake and made Juventus worse: Done terribly

Ronaldo confident ahead of his Old Trafford return: I am here to win

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Ronaldo’s Manchester United side will be hoping to make amends for their 5-0 home defeat to rivals Liverpool, when they take on Tottenham Hotspurs at 5:30pm at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Last Sunday’s humiliation to Jurgen Klopp’s side shook the foundation of Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure, with many in the media asking questions about his long-term future at the club. Solskjaer will remain at the helm for the time being, despite reports that some members of the United dressing room have reservations about the manager.

Ronaldo, who had a goal ruled out by VAR, but was otherwise anonymous throughout the game, has also been on the receiving end of criticism by certain swathes of the media. 

Former Liverpool centre-back and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher said last week that he didn’t think Ronaldo would bring Manchester United “closer to the title or the Champions League” despite his goal-scoring credentials. 

There is little doubt that Ronaldo will score goals, having already netted six times in nine games for the Red Devils since rejoining the club.

However concerns have been raised regarding the 36-year-olds lack of pressing on the pitch and the influence he may have in the dressing room.

Read More:Man Utd icon Sir Alex Ferguson ‘intervenes’ on Solskjaer sacking

Fans of Italian football will notice parallels between the assessment of Ronaldo’s time in Serie A and his Manchester United return. 

In February, Cassano even went so far as to claim that Ronaldo’s spell at Juventus had been a “failure” as he had failed to win the Italian giants a Champions League as promised.

Speaking to Corriere dello Sport about Ronaldo’s impact at Juventus, Cassano said: “Juventus signed him to win the Champions League, but they’ve done worse with him than they’ve done before. 

“They’d also won the Scudetto [Serie A title] without him. 

“I think he’s been a failure.”

Ronaldo signed for Juventus in 2018 from Real Madrid, having led the Spanish giants to an incredible four Champions League trophies.

At Juventus he scored 81 goals in 98 appearances and won consecutive Serie A titles.

However, they were knocked out in the quarter final of the Champions League in 2018, before suffering consecutive round of 16 eliminations in the tournament including a shock exit to Porto last year.

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In contrast, in 2016 Juventus reached the Champions League final, where they lost on penalties to Ronaldo’s Real Madrid.

Like Carragher last week, Cassano stressed in February that Ronaldo’s lack of pressing and work off the ball was a detriment to Juventus.

On Ronaldo’s relationship with Juventus Manager at-the-time, Andrea Pirlo, the Italian added: “It’s been a mistake.

“Juve have only been interested in winning for 120 years but [Maurizio] Sarri and Pirlo tried to change their identity. 

“They’ve tried to improve their style of play rather than win ‒ Cristiano just doesn’t work in the same way as Andrea.

“He’ll keep scoring goals because he knows how to do that no matter what ‒ he’ll cut in from the left, get the ball on his right foot and fire it in. 

“But Pirlo wants to build the play, pressure the opposition and play between the lines and this means Cristiano doesn’t participate much. 

“I think Cristiano has done terribly over the last three years.”

Last season, an underwhelming campaign saw Juventus’ run of nine consecutive Serie A titles ended by Antonio Conte’s inter side. 

Cassano’s comments also echo Graham Souness’ after Manchester United’s dismal showing against Liverpool.

The Sky Sports pundit said: “I think Man United have a major problem as they have to play in a way Ole doesn’t want to play ‒ they can’t be the high pressing team that Liverpool are, that Man City are.

“If one person doesn’t commit to the press, you have to be instant. They have to play a different brand of football.”

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