Soccer

Giorgio Chiellini on Christiano Ronaldo: “If he had left earlier we would have had time to prepare better.”

Jul 30, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini speaks during the Juventus and MLS All-Star team press conference with at the MLS Digital HQ. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

This past summer, Cristiano Ronaldo left Juventus to return to Manchester United. The deal was made right at the end of the transfer window, and Giorgio Chiellini believes the timing of Ronaldo’s decision played a big part in Juventus’ poor start to the season.

The Italian center-back admitted the loss of Ronaldo so late into the transfer window hurt the team.

“Ronaldo left on 28 August. It would have been better for us if he had left earlier. We paid something for it, a little bit of a shock. We paid something for it in terms of points. If he had left earlier we would have had time to prepare better.”

Giorgio Chiellini

Following Ronaldo’s departure, Juventus suffered back-to-back defeats before drawing with AC Milan, highlighting the lost points and shock left on the team Chiellini referenced in his interview. Since then, the club has won four straight games in Serie A and their opening three games in the Champions League. At the same time, Cristiano Ronaldo is enduring a rough period with Manchester United despite a strong scoring start.

“When you have a world class player like Cristiano, you cannot help but use the team to play for him. We must be grateful to Cristiano for all he did during these years at Juventus, but we carry on. This will be Paulo Dybala’s team.”

Giorgio Chiellini

Chiellini is bitter over the manner of Ronaldo’s Juventus departure but believes they already have a ready-made replacement in Paolo Dybala. As for Ronaldo, the Portuguese international has netted six goals in eight games since returning to Old Trafford. Including late winners in United’s past two Champions League games to put the team top of Group F.

One of the best goal scorers in the world joined Manchester United, and his departure left a sense of shock on Juventus. However, the two sides have made near identical starts to the season. Both sides sit on 14 points in the respective leagues and sit atop their Champions League groups. The ultimate winner and loser in this transfer have yet to be determined.

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