Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t enjoyed the greatest of returns to football after the coronavirus pandemic.
In his first match back, the Portuguese superstar missed a penalty during Juventus’ 0-0 draw with AC Milan. Fortunately, that penalty miss didn’t cost his side as they progressed to the Coppa Italia final on away goals.
That final took place on Wednesday night but after another 0-0 draw, there was more penalty heartbreak for Ronaldo as he watched his side lose to Napoli on spot-kicks.
We saw watched because, as usual, Ronaldo was set to take the fifth penalty for his side but the Old Lady had lost by the time he had a chance to step up.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been criticised for wanting the glory and putting himself fifth but he’s also been criticised for his performance.
Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport said that he was the worst player on the pitch in Rome.
Even his manager, Maurizio Sarri admitted Ronaldo wasn’t in the best possible match fitness right now.
“He is lacking the sharpness to do what works best for him,” Sarri said after the match.
However, another Italian went a bit further – Luca Toni.
Toni didn’t hold back when analysing Ronaldo’s performance and claimed he can’t even dribble right now.
“I saw the whole Juventus team in difficulty, even Cristiano Ronaldo, who looked like an average player in what was a very slow match,” said former World Cup winner Toni.
“You expect a big performance from him but he looked like he was experiencing physical difficulties – he couldn’t even dribble a man.
“Buffon was the best player on the pitch. I liked Douglas Costa a lot too, but Sarri only let him play 60 minutes. [Douglas] Costa and [Juan] Cuadrado were the only ones able to beat their man because at the moment Ronaldo is struggling to dribble.”
Toni’s comment on Ronaldo’s lack of ability to dribble echoed the views of fellow Italian Fabio Capello.
“The truth is that Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t dribbled [past] an opponent for three years. I did the La Liga commentary when he usually took the double step and left you there,” Capello said back in November.
“Cristiano did it for a while, but now it’s not him and he must recover – especially on a physical level. He does not have the speed and dynamism he has shown at other times.”
Let’s not forget the 35-year-old is one of the greatest footballers ever and it’s only a matter of time before he bounces back with a world-class performance.
- Ronaldo’s sister slams Sarri’s tactics after Juventus lose Coppa Italia final
- Ronaldo slammed by fans for not taking a penalty in Juventus’ shootout defeat to Napoli
- The Champions League will return on August 7 and finish as World Cup-style tournament