Despite his departure in the summer, Cristiano Ronaldo’s shadow still looms around the Allianz Stadium – especially following the club’s horrendous start to the Serie A campaign.
The Portuguese superstar made a shocking switch from Real Madrid in the summer of 2018, but opted for a Manchester United return last month.
The three years that the 36-year-old spent in Turin remain widely debated by fans and observers alike. The legend won domestic titles with the club as well as personal honors, and yet, the Old Lady continued to fall short in the Champions League.
Some will claim that the player ruined the team’s cohesiveness, while others feel that Juventus didn’t provide him with a solid team worthy of winning the biggest trophies.
In a recent interview, Leonardo Bonucci admitted that the Bianconeri players generally became complacent after the arrival of Ronaldo.
“This was the thing,” Bonucci told The Athletic via Football Italia. “The idea that one player, even the best in the world, could guarantee Juventus victory.
“Cristiano’s presence had a big influence on us. Just training with him gave us something extra but subconsciously players started to think his presence alone was enough to win games.
“We began to fall a little short in our daily work, the humility, the sacrifice, the desire to be there for your team-mate day after day. Over the last few years, I think you could see that.
“Last season, we finished fourth and won the Coppa Italia because we became a team again. If you had thrown a piece of wood in the dressing room before those games it would have caught fire such was the electricity running through it.
“We missed that. Maybe it was taken for granted that if we gave the ball to Cristiano, he’d win us the game.
“But Cristiano needed the team as much as we needed him. There had to be a trade-off because it’s the team that lifts the individual even if the individual is the best player on the planet,” concluded the Euro 2020 winner.