Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival at Juventus had an immediate impact on Miralem Pjanic.
Paulo Dybala admitted after the Old Lady signed Ronaldo last summer that he sent a text message to Pjanic telling him he wouldn’t get to take many free-kicks this season.
Ronaldo immediately took over free-kick duties from Pjanic and Dybala - but it’s been a real struggle for the Portuguese superstar.
He’s yet to score from a set-piece all season, leading many to question why Pjanic and Dybala haven’t resumed their roles as the regular free-kick takers.
Indeed, in November Juve boss Max Allegri had to confirm that Ronaldo has been taken off full-time free-kick duty.
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“When there are free kicks from far away, Ronaldo can kick them but we’ve decided that Dybala and Pjanic will take the set pieces close to the area,” Allegri said.
And Pjanic showed just why that was the right decision by scoring from a set-piece in Juventus’ game against Napoli on Sunday evening.
Pjanic's free-kick v Napoli
Ronaldo won a free-kick when he was fouled by Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret, leading to his sending off.
The free-kick was just outside the penalty area, meaning it suited Pjanic’s style.
The Bosnian midfielder duly sent his effort up and over the wall and into the back of the net, giving Juve the lead.
It was a fine strike and fans are now calling for Pjanic to take all of Juventus’ free-kicks.
Whether Ronaldo allows that to happen is another matter.
Pjanic was later sent off in the match, leaving both teams with 10 men.News Now - Sport News