Cristiano Ronaldo 'not physically at his best' for Juventus - Maurizio Sarri

 

Cristiano Ronaldo 'not physically at his best' for Juventus - Maurizio Sarri

Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri admitted that Cristiano Ronaldo is not "physically at his best right now," while rubbishing suggestions of a falling out between himself and midfielder Miralem Pjanic bet soccer tips.

Sarri has quickly found himself under pressure after Juventus were beaten on penalties by Napoli in Wednesday's Coppa Italia final.

The only other game they have contested since the three-month stoppage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was the Coppa semifinal at home to AC Milan five days earlier, which also ended 0-0 after Ronaldo missed a penalty.

However, the Juventus boss said he'd spoken with Ronaldo and was confident that the 35-year-old would find his form soon enough.

Sarri said: "I spoke to Cristiano again yesterday, alone and for a long time. He mustn't lose his confidence, I hope that from tomorrow the fantastic player of old will come back. It's just that he's not physically at his best right now."

Elsewhere, La Stampa newspaper suggested on Sunday that relations between Sarri and Pjanic had gone frosty with the Bosnian set to benched at Bologna on Monday when leaders Juve, who are one point ahead of Lazio, resume their Serie A campaign.

"The story of my row with Pjanic is one of the biggest hoaxes of the season," Sarri told Sky Sport Italia. "I talk a lot with Miralem, maybe he's one of the guys I have the most interesting and meaningful discussions with.

Sarri also added that he had dispensed with the idea of using Ronaldo as a centre-forward, which he briefly tried against Milan.

"He has scored 700 goals by starting slightly wide of centre, that's his preference and that is normal," he said, while adding that it was time to forget about Wednesday's defeat free soccer daily tip.

"Losing a trophy is always something that weighs on you, and brings disappointment and bitterness," he said. "But that's the situation. We need to move on and think about the next few games without being influenced by something we've lost."



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