Analysing the impact Cristiano Ronaldo has had at Juventus so far in 2018/19

Cristiano Ronaldo

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo project has certainly elevated the status of both the Bianconeri and Serie A as a league.

Regardless of the 34-year-old's performances on the pitch, he will have made arguably the biggest commercial contribution to Italian football in recent memory.

Prior to his arrival in the summer, Calcio had been in a steady period of decline. While the Italian style of football has evolved into a far more attack-minded beast, the attraction of joining one of the country's top teams had waned due to the power of the Premier League and La Liga.

Now, the outlook of Serie A is different and a lot of that is down to Ronaldo. Juve are now moving closer to the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona in terms of player pulling power.

The €100m transfer fee was huge for a then 33-year-old and he costs the Bianconeri €31m a year in wages, but he's been worth the financial investment for his brand alone.

Juve's social media accounts are booming and they're thriving on the stock exchange.

But what's Ronaldo's impact been like on the pitch? Well, we've decided to give our analysis on his time in Turin after his first seven months.

SERIE A DOMINATION

There is no denying that the Portuguese has taken to Italian football like a duck to water.

While his presence appears to have reduced Paulo Dybala's impact domestically, he has more than filled the void with 19 goals and eight assists.

Juve are still unbeaten - winning 21 games and drawing just three - and Ronaldo seems to have added more of an air of invincibility to Max Allegri's side in Serie A.

The Bianconeri have been famed in recent years for never knowing when they're beaten and the Portuguese has enhanced this trait, making them the most dominant side in Europe's top five leagues - yes, even more than PSG.

Ronaldo & Dybala

ALL-ROUND CONTRIBUTION

There's also no hiding from the fact that in a number of crucial league games, Ronaldo has showcased his ability to impact more areas on the pitch than just the opposition penalty area.

He's been far more than the goal-machine we all became familiar with during his final years with Real Madrid.

Against Napoli earlier in the season, which Juve won 3-1, Ronaldo was everywhere, influencing the game from a variety of positions and picking up two assists.

It was reminiscent of his days at Manchester United, where his wing play thrilled spectators and he was as much of a creator as he was a goal scorer.

BUT IS THERE A TACTICAL IMBALANCE?

Despite how dominant Juve have been in Serie A, there has been the lingering feeling of imbalance in Juve's attack in certain games.

Ronaldo & Allegri

Lazio were close to taking advantage of this back on January 27 in Serie A, only for Ronaldo to score a late penalty to secure one of the most undeserved 2-1 wins you will ever see.

The one team that really did take advantage of this 'imbalance' was Atalanta in the Coppa Italia, a game Juve lost 3-0.

Alongside Dybala and Federico Bernadeschi, Juve's front three lacked the defensive cohesion that has made them such a force in the past.

Both Ronaldo and Dybala see themselves as having 'free roles', which proved detrimental to the side when Atalanta had the ball.

Allegri has faced a tough task shoehorning his top attacking players into the same side.

Ronaldo and Dybala on the same pitch against the top teams is a real concern, as was proven in the 2-0 loss away at Atletico Madrid.

Then there's Mario Mandzukic, who's a vital player for Allegri but is growing ever more ineffective when used in a wide role to accommodate Ronaldo.

Ronaldo & Mandzukic

And if the Croatian is given his favoured role up top, Ronaldo's lack of defensive contribution out wide is simply not an option when playing high-calibre opposition.

With Gonzalo Higuain, the Argentine had a fixed role in the side and was far more one-dimensional, which ironically may have benefited the side at certain times and aided Allegri when it came to team selection.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE STRUGGLES

If there's one competition Ronaldo's time at Juve will be judged on, it's the one he has made his own since 2014.

Winning Serie A will barely be seen as an achievement given the Bianconeri's stranglehold on the trophy.

Juve have lost in five finals since their last European trophy back in 1996 and Ronaldo was supposed to be the decisive factor in taking that next crucial step.

But it looks as if his first effort at doing that will fail spectacularly, as he is now on the cusp of exiting the competition at the last-16 stage for the first time in 2010.

Ronaldo season stats

Ratings courtesy of WhoScored.

And in truth, Ronaldo has been poor in the six games he's featured in. A petulant red card on opening night against Valencia has been followed up by just one goal against United - a game Juve lost 2-1.

He's been unable to make his addition count in Europe and his anonymous display against Atletico seemed to highlight that Juve with the Portuguese in their ranks are still a long way off achieving their main goal.

Given Ronaldo is 34 now, time isn't exactly on his and Juve's side in this scenario...

OUR VERDICT

Let's state the facts first; Ronaldo has galvanised Juve's status in the commercial market and has been the most dominant striker in Serie A in 2018/19.

But, adding a player of his style into a team littered with attacking talent hasn't been the easiest of tasks and it has certainly had its negatives.

The fact that a 25-year-old Dybala has been alienated at times cannot be a positive for Juve in the long-term.

Dybala

And there is no hiding that tactically, Juve have lost some of their steel and organisation with Ronaldo added to the mix.

In Serie A, this hasn't proved to be a problem at all, but it may cost them in their quest to end their Champions League drought.

So much hinges on Juve and Ronaldo's attempt to reverse their 2-0 loss away at Atletico in Turin.

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