Juventus currently find themselves in an unfamiliar position as they sit third in the Serie A table after 15 rounds of matches. The days when the Bianconeri used to run away with the title seem to be long gone.
Nowadays, the other sleeping giants in the league have awoken and the two Milan clubs giving Juventus a run for their money. Despite the team's struggles this season, they boast a weapon in Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese has already won two Serie A titles with the Old Lady and he is already aiming for a third. On Sunday, Ronaldo ensured that Juventus continued to chase their rivals in the title race by scoring a brace in their 4-1 win against Udinese.
The 35-year-old opened the scoring in the 31st minute before setting up Federico Chiesa for Juventus’ second goal early in the second half. The former Real Madrid star made it 3-0 in the 70th minute, as Paulo Dybala rounded up the scoring.
A week of records for Ronaldo
Ronaldo’s double ensured that he broke a series of records in the process. The biggest one is that he is now the second-highest scorer of all-time for club and country, surpassing the legendary Pele.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner netted his 757 and 758 goals against Udinese on Sunday, which translates to an average of 42 goals-a-season for club and country.
Brazilian legend Pele scored 757 goals during his career and Ronaldo is now just one goal behind Josef Bican's total of 759. Ronaldo has now also scored 20-plus goals with club and country for the 15th consecutive campaign.
The Portuguese ended 2020 as the top scorer in Europe’s top five leagues and his numbers this season are just remarkable. He has already scored 14 goals in 11 Serie A games.
Juventus are playing second fiddle to the Milan clubs
There are still many games to be played but Juventus are currently playing second fiddle to the two Milan clubs. AC Milan are 10 points ahead of the Old Lady while Inter Milan are also nine points ahead.
However, the Bianconeri will have to sort out their inconsistency issues if they are to catch up to their rivals. Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo was unimpressed despite their 4-1 win against Udinese on Sunday and believes his side can offer more.
“It was not the best Juventus. We were coming from a bad defeat against Fiorentina,” Pirlo said, as quoted by Juventus.com.
“At the beginning, we were a bit fearful because they attacked the depth well with the two forwards. We left too much space, but we had a good attitude, we were playing patiently and then we grew. We must have confidence in our means and always be determined to get there," noted Pirlo.
However, starting the year with a win will have definitely delighted Pirlo. The Juventus boss will also be grateful for Ronaldo's form as the Portuguese has single-handedly changed results for the Old Lady.Published 04 Jan 2021, 23:00 IST