It’s been a badly kept secret for some days now, but it does look like Cristiano Ronaldo has said his farewells at the Juventus camp and is headed for the exit. Juve have a home game tomorrow against Empoli and when Massimiliano Allegri spoke to the media today in his pre-match press conference, there was only one question at the top of everyone’s minds.
“Yesterday, Cristiano told me that he no longer has any intention to play for Juventus. For this reason, he will not be called up for tomorrow’s game.
“Cristiano is to be thanked for what he has done, also as an example amongst the youngsters. But as I said, we must go on.”
Was Allegri disappointed by Ronaldo’s decision to leave Juve?
“No, he made a choice. Omar Sivori, Michel Platini, Alessandro Del Piero, Zinedine Zidane, Gianluigi Buffon have all passed through Juventus. Great champions, it’s a law of life.
“Juventus remain the most important thing and the basis for great results. It has been three years, he has given his contribution, now he leaves and life goes on, as it normally does.”
The player confirmed today to his teammates about his decision to leave.
“He told his teammates this morning. I’m not surprised by anything, in football there’s the market and there are the needs of individuals.
“We just have to look forward, tomorrow there’s an important game against Empoli. We must be very angry about Udinese, we left two points due to an unexpected event, which we didn’t know how to manage.
“Otherwise, this need for Ronaldo would have been handled in another way, because we had the three points.”
Would Juventus be delving into the transfer market to replace Ronaldo with the window about to shut in a few days and Moise Kean linked with a return?
“There are three or four days left. We are on the line, if we can find a player who improves the squad, that’s good. Otherwise, we will stay with them.
“We have Arthur out, who is about to return, and the squad is excellent. I’m happy with who I have, we have to focus on the ones we have.”
What was the mindset of his squad currently?
“They are already all responsible, it’s normal that now, with the absence of Cristiano… they are all responsible, there are many young players and we need to improve from all points of view.
“The difference will be how quickly we arrive at a right mental aspect, that allows us to win games and manage them in moments like we faced in Udine.”
Allegri also insisted that despite rumours, Weston McKennie should not be leaving this summer.
“He doesn’t have to leave. He has goals in his legs. He must improve: he’s an attacking player and we are in very good shape in this department.”
It’s a little early in the season but after last week’s disappointment Allegri is already calling the home-opener tomorrow a must-win game.
“I would say that we are working well, we have to win. We played the first one and we are sorry we didn’t win, two unforeseen events have occurred that can happen, but they don’t have to happen again.
“We played a good game, then we can improve in terms of the game and in the second half we made a lot of technical mistakes.
“We are working on it and to improve our conditions. Tomorrow there will be a good atmosphere at home and we must be ready.”