The spectre of the allegations surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo hovers uneasily over Juventus’ season. Juve take on Udinese tomorrow but as has been the case since the summer, the questions always start with him.
Speaking to the media , Massimiliano Allegri talked about the player’s reaction to what’s been going on the last few days.
“He’s fine, he’s a lad I’ve known for three months. What I can say about him is that in his 15-year career, he’s always shown great professionalism both on and off the field. He’s dedicated and also very much so to social matters, which says it all.
“I knew he wouldn’t be called up by Portugal, he reached an agreement with the CT and President of his federation. He has broad shoulders, he’s focused on taking to the field and doing well.”
Allegri also gave a squad update -
“Douglas Costa is back, but Sami Khedira is out. Mattia De Sciglio and Daniele Rugani will be assessed. Wojciech Szczesny will play in goal, but one of Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala and Cristiano may miss out.
“Juan Cuadrado’s growing and his assist gave him motivation. Rodrigo Bentancur could be there, I’ll assess him in training.”
Regarding his decision-making -
“We have lots of games, beyond technical decisions and our chemistry. I have to rotate our front line.
“Our squad has improved a lot and that’s thanks to the club. If we’re better now than in the past, we’ll see how much we win at the end of the season.
“We’ve won a lot and we’re only missing the Champions League. Now we want to finish this seven-game run in the best possible way, then we’ll have six more before the November break.
“Udinese always battle at home, so we must approach the game with determination, even if technically it might not be a good match.”
The manager also clarified that he had meant no offense to Fiorentina when he had ranted about a couple of missed passes by Federico Bernardeschi against Napoli. Video had emerged after the game of Allegri screaming in frustration during the game -
“It’s a pass, you have to go to score goals! He’s coming off now, we’re not bloody Fiorentina!”
At the press conference, he clarified -
“Playing for Juventus has a different kind of pressure as every ball here can change the fate of a tournament.
“I had no intention of offending Fiorentina. Simply put, you have to make a mental step-up here.”