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Cristiano Ronaldo Forced Juventus To 'Lose Their Spirit', Current Player Hasn't Held Back

James Hilsum

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Cristiano Ronaldo Forced Juventus To 'Lose Their Spirit', Current Player Hasn't Held Back

Cristiano Ronaldo's work rate has been criticised by one of his former teammates and says the Portuguese megastar forced Juventus to lose their spirit within the squad.

Ronaldo left Turin for Old Trafford in the summer with an impressive record of 101 goals across 134 appearances in all competitions for Juve, but he had a disappointing final season in Italian football, as the club finished fourth and missed out on the Serie A title.

Italian defensive stalwart Leonardo Bonucci believes Ronaldo's departure was a blessing in disguise and says that morale can now improve in the squad.

"Ronaldo made a choice that we respected," Bonucci told Amazon Prime Sport in quotes published by Gianluca Di Marzio and 90min.com.

"Last year the team played for him, now the group must rediscover that Juve spirit that was there before his arrival."

PA: Leonardo Bonucci has made a dig at Cristiano Ronaldo.
PA: Leonardo Bonucci has made a dig at Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Italy legend added a further dig aimed at Ronaldo, claiming that he wants to see Juventus "rediscover the taste of fatigue."

Former Manchester United teammate Gary Neville alluded to the theme of Ronaldo's lack of work rate on The Overlap, claiming other players had to pick up the dirty work at times.

"With it comes big positives, but with it also comes problems," he said. "Ronaldo had to be managed, shall we say.

"In the 2008 Barcelona semi-final away from home, Cristiano Ronaldo was shoved up front on his own, and Rooney and Park Ji-sung were shoved wide, and Tevez was brought back to [mark] Busquets. You couldn't carry him in the big games because he generally doesn't work hard enough.

"So, he's playing up front now - you're never going to press from the front. So the idea that Manchester United can become a pressing team with Cristiano up front is never going to happen. He wasn't pressing 10-15 years ago."

PA: Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring against Newcastle United
PA: Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring against Newcastle United

Ronaldo made an immediate impact upon his return to Old Trafford with three goals in his first four appearances across all competitions, but a run of four defeats in their last seven games has seen United's form nosedive in recent weeks.

The 36-year-old's antics have also been questioned, after storming down the tunnel in the aftermath of United's frustrating 1-1 home draw with Everton.

It does not get any easier for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men when they host an in-form Liverpool team at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: Manchester United, Leonardo Bonucci, Premier League, Juventus, Cristiano Ronaldo

James Hilsum
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