Why Cristiano Ronaldo was dropped to the bench for Juventus’ crucial final day meeting with Bologna
- Seria A
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An insight into Andrea Pirlo’s shock decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo to the bench for Juventus’ meeting with Bologna has been forthcoming on Sunday night.
Serie A comes down to the wire
The Bianconeri are of course currently locked in action.
As part of the final round of Serie A fixtures of the campaign, Pirlo and co. made the trip to the Stadio Dall’Ara, for a crunch showdown with Bologna.
The matchup comes as an absolutely pivotal one for Juve, amid a tense battle for a top-4 berth in the Italian top-flight.
Ahead of the action getting underway this evening, the Old Lady, who had rattled off no less than nine Scudetto titles on the bounce before this season, sat in 5th.
Both AC Milan and Napoli, though, sat just a point clear, in 3rd and 4th respectively.
In addition, the former have been tasked with a final day meeting with high-flying Atalanta.
AC Milan’s English defender Fikayo Tomori celebrates after scoring during the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs AC Milan on May 09, 2021 at the Juventus stadium in Turin. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP) (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)
CR7 misses out
In turn, after clinching their latest Coppa Italia crown during the week, Juventus’ hopes of finishing out an altogether underwhelming campaign on a high remain very much alive.
It therefore came as nothing short of a shock when, upon the Turin giants’ starting XI being unveiled ahead of kick-off this evening, the club’s star performer was nowhere to be seen.
Cristiano Ronaldo was forced to make do with a spot on the bench, with Andrea Pirlo having instead opted for a frontline consisting of Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata:
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) May 23, 2021
As outlined above, though, an insight into the situation has since been forthcoming.
First, it was reported by Sky Italia that Ronaldo had essentially asked to be left out, amid a bout of late season fatigue:
According to SKY Italia – Cristiano Ronaldo complained he is “too tired”, so he is not playing!!
— Matteo Bonetti (@Bonetti) May 23, 2021
Juve director Fabio Paratici, though, has suggested that the decision was in fact made by the club, albeit whilst hinting that CR7 is indeed feeling the effects of a hectic couple of weeks:
Juventus director Paratici: “Cristiano Ronaldo is not injuried. We’ve played a lot of games in the last few days, Wednesday was a very expensive match. Together with Pirlo, we’ve decided that he’s not starting tonight. But he’s available”. 🇵🇹 #Ronaldo
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 23, 2021