Juventus defenders, Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci have slammed their former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo for deciding to rejoin Manchester United in the summer transfer window.
Ronaldo started the season with the Old Lady, the club where he had spent the last three seasons, but decided to rejoin former club United in the final week of August for a £19.7million transfer fee.
Chiellini’s Juventus initially started the season poorly with no wins in their first four league games and the Italian defender, along with defensive partner Leonardo Bonucci, have slammed Ronaldo for the negative impact the club had suffered.
Speaking after Juventus 1 – 0 win against Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League on Wednesday, Chiellini told DAZN: ‘We had reached a point in the relationship where Cristiano needed new incentives and a new team that could play for him, because when he finds such a team he is decisive.
‘He has been proving it in recent months and showed it in the three years that he was with us.
‘A rejuvenation restart programme grew here at Juventus. If Ronaldo had stayed, it would have been an added value and we would have gladly exploited it, but he might be thinking more about the present than the future.
‘He left on August 28th, it would have been better for us if he had left earlier. It’s something we paid for, there’s a little shock in it for you and in my opinion we paid for it in terms of points.
‘Had he gone away on August 1st, we would have had time to prepare better.’
Chiellini’s Juventus defensive partner Bonucci also admited the Old Lady are playing with more togetherness after Ronaldo’s Turin exit.
When asked by Sky Sport Italia if Juventus are playing more as a team without Ronaldo, the Italian defender said: ‘It’s absolutely true.
‘In the recent past we had lost this characteristic from Juve, we were playing with a great champion like CR7 and we wanted to put him in a position to always do well, thinking he could solve all the matches.
‘This year we are rediscovering that right humility that it serves to regain victory.’