Cristiano Ronaldo News: Maurizio Sarri addresses Juventus ace's substitution in AC Milan clash
What's the story?
Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri has explained the reasons behind Cristiano Ronaldo's substitution during their Serie A clash against AC Milan on Sunday and addressed reports of his early departure from the Allianz Stadium, following his replacement.
In case you didn't know...
Juventus established a 1-0 victory over AC Milan on Sunday night, courtesy of a goal from second-half substitute Paulo Dybala.
Dybala came on as a replacement for Ronaldo, who was taken off in the 55th minute of the game. The substitution marks the second consecutive time that the 34-year-old forward was replaced during a match, having also been taken off during the Bianconeri's Champions League clash against Lokomotiv Moscow last week.
According to reports, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, who was visibly frustrated at Sarri's decision to take him off, left the stadium three minutes before the end of the match, thereby raising questions around his relationship with the Italian.
The heart of the matter
Speaking after the clash, Sarri addressed the reports surrounding Ronaldo's early departure and revealed the fitness issues that forced him to substitute the former Real Madrid man for the second time running.
When asked about his thoughts on Ronaldo's reported premature exit from the stadium, the Juventus boss replied, via The Guardian,
"Disrespectful to his teammates? Like I said, I don’t know. If it’s true that he left before the end it is a problem to be resolved with his teammates."
The former Chelsea manager then explained the reasons behind the Portuguese forward's substitution saying,
"I have no problem with Cristiano, he should be thanked because he made himself available despite not being in the best condition. In the last month, he has had discomfort in his knee and this is a little problem for him.
"The important thing is that he made himself available. If he gets angry when he comes out this is part of the game. It’s only natural a player is going to be irritated about leaving the pitch, especially when he worked so hard to be there.
"All players who are trying to give their best will have at least five minutes of being annoyed when they are substituted, but a coach would, in general, be much more worried if he didn’t seem upset."
Juvetus will return to action after the international break when they will face Atalanta in the Serie A on November 23rd.