May 14, 2021

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Pirlo saw Ronaldo rumours coming after Juve´s Champions League exit


Cristiano Ronaldo was destined to be at the centre of transfer speculation after Juventus were bundled out of the Champions League, according to head coach Andrea Pirlo.

The 36-year-old forward has been linked with a return to Real Madrid at the end of the season, three years after he moved to Italy.

Juventus were eliminated from the Champions League by Porto on Tuesday, with Ronaldo facing criticism from figures including Fabio Capello after the second leg.

He notably turned his back on Sergio Oliveira’s free-kick that found the back of the net in extra time, which triggered much of the negative judgement.

Ronaldo also failed to score in either game against the Portuguese giants, in a tie that Juventus lost on away goals.

“He’s fine, it’s normal that he’s disappointed with what happened the other night,” Pirlo said in a news conference on Saturday.

“It’s normal there are rumours after an elimination. He is the most important football personality in the world, together with [Lionel] Messi.

“But let’s remember that he has always done well for us, scoring about 90 goals in 100 games. It can happen that in one match he does not score, and with him that makes for more and more fuss.”

Juventus are back in action on Sunday when they have a Serie A trip to Cagliari.

Trailing leaders Inter by 10 points heading into the weekend’s fixtures, Juventus can ill afford to drop points at this stage of the season.

“I have lived through many of these situations. I have won a lot and lost a lot,” Pirlo said.

“I have always tried to start up again with enthusiasm after great disappointments. We start again with the desire to show that we are Juve.

“We can take the championship to the last game. It depends on us, on the goals we have all set ourselves.

“From moments of great sadness we have to bring out our best and I am convinced that we will do it tomorrow.

“It will be an important match after the elimination. It will take team spirit to play a great game.”