"Time to move on" - Alberto
Make it make sense...In the aftermath of Juve's crushing defeat to Porto in the Round of 16 Champions League tie, the news has been all around Cristiano Ronaldo's future. The Portuguese star was heavily criticized for not making a big enough impact for the Bianconeri over the two legs and then he as well as all the team leaders were criticized some more for not stepping up to the cameras and facing the music. Cristiano responded and did his talking on the pitch against Cagliari, scoring a hat trick and guiding Juventus to the 3-1 victory and surpassing the great Pelé. While victories and records are to be celebrated and joyous, I couldn't help but feel a bit numb to it all. To be honest I felt annoyed.
Ronaldo's attitude has been upsetting for me for over a month. The intense levels of frustration shown and sulking have been a bit much for my liking especially when you combine some lackluster showings on his part, especially the two legs against Porto. Forgive me if a hat trick against Cagliari doesn't wipe my memory clean of these frustrations I've had but we brought him in for far more. Another aspect that added to my annoyance was the fact "he" was publicly criticized and responded and felt the need to do a celebration pointing to his ear after one of his goals against Cagliari. Where was this fight, hunger, and drive when Juve's European life was on the line? The honeymoon phase may be over at Juventus I'm afraid.
While Ronaldo isn't the issue and I truly do believe Juve's management has made a mess of the CR7 window in terms of building a strong squad behind him, he does need to be "the guy" for us and when I look at leaders the attitude and body language needs to propel the team forward and I've been seeing several others who have been providing that in a far more positive manner. When I start to feel this way I can't help but wonder if we would be better off using that healthy salary of his to boosting the squad and helping the collective. It is a bit of a tough situation for Juventus. Having Mirko Di Natale on the podcast and him stating Juve wanted to extend the contract before the second leg match against Porto was a bit of surprise I must say. We have a great goal scorer but not enough support for him and keeping him around hinders the amount of money we have to be able to support him. I have been saying for quite some time now, Cristiano Ronaldo is a luxury player and one that Juve may not be able to afford.
Again, he is not the direct issue but he does hinder us in being able to correct the issues, that and some very bad contracts and transfers previously in which we are still seeing the effects from and throw the completely unforeseen COVID effects into the mix and you have a win now made that has passed almost completely. This was highlighted by a third consecutive elimination in the Round of 16 in the Champions League. Extending Ronaldo and Juve wanting to do so is very strange for me to try and figure out where they really stand and what they are trying to accomplish really. We bring in a goal-scoring machine, we find out the supporting cast isn't enough but we wait to truly act on it and keep the "dead weight" around an entire extra season before acting on it. To add to the confusion we make another coaching change and now bring in a coach who wasn't even ticketed at the time of receiving the job. Then we bring in a wave of new young players and continue to look at younger players as part of this new project.
I just need things to start making sense. Are we in winnow mode? For me we are not and simply can't be if we are starting to focus on a green manager and young players and forming a new spine in the team. If we aren't in winnow mode and we are looking at reshaping the spine, how does CR fit? Does it make sense to keep him around? For me, it doesn't and not only for Juve but Cristiano as well. He is 36 years old and it would make sense for him to be that piece for a team that is close to winning in Europe to give him a couple more opportunities before maybe a move to MLS or wrapping up his career entirely. Juve seems to be fading further away from being that tough out in Europe and needs to restore balance in the squad, all these factors make me believe it would be best for both parties to part ways this summer. I can't stress enough that my opinion is not a knock on Ronaldo, his stats speak for themselves but I just don't believe Juve has held their end of the agreement and unless he restructures his contract I don't see them being able to. Ronaldo will be the luxury player we couldn't and still can't afford to have. The strength amongst the ranks isn't where it needed to be and now we are all left trying to make sense of where Juventus is at...is it win now?.... Is it a rebuild?...make it make sense.
"It was a failure" - SAEED OUT
In my eyes, Ronaldo has been a failure in Juventus. Since we have added Ronaldo to the team we have become worse. Before signing Ronaldo we had scored 77 and 86 goals in Serie A, we added him to that team and it became 70 goals. Many fans claim it's because the team got worse, but the team didn't change that much. Cancelo and Bonucci's addition was the only real difference from the last seasons.