Gianluigi Buffon takes swipe at Cristiano Ronaldo as Man Utd star comes under fire

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Cristiano Ronaldo has been criticised by Gianluigi Buffon for having a negative affect on Juventus, with the veteran keeper claiming the club ‘lost their DNA’ following his blockbuster arrival in 2018.

The Portuguese superstar was brought to the club in a money-spinning £88m deal three years ago as the Italian giants stepped up their pursuit of another Champions League crown, having not won it since 1996.

However, Ronaldo, who was fresh off the back of winning three successive Champions League titles with Real Madrid, was not able to emulate that success with Juventus.

In the forward’s three years in Italy, the Champions League proved elusive as they continually bowed out in the early stages of the tournament.

Ronaldo was able to add two Serie A titles to his bulging trophy cabinet before sealing a magical return to Manchester United in the summer.

Despite achieving domestic success and scoring a plethora of goals for Juventus, Ronaldo’s time in Italy was not nearly as memorable as his spell with Real Madrid. Ronaldo was often criticised by the media in Italy and ended his time there on a sour note as Juventus saw their Serie A dominance ended by Inter Milan in his final season at the club.

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Buffon, who left Juventus in 2018 but returned to play alongside Ronaldo 12 months later, has now admitted that the Portuguese star’s arrival disrupted the harmony amongst the squad.

“Juventus had the chance to win the Champions League the first year he arrived, which was the year I was at Paris Saint-Germain, and I couldn’t figure out what happened,” he told TUDN.

“When I returned, I worked with Ronaldo for two years and we did well together, but I think Juventus lost that DNA of being a team.

“We reached the Champions League final in 2017 because we were a side full of experience, but above all we were a single unit and there was this competition for places within the group that was very strong. We lost that with Ronaldo.”


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Buffon is not the only Juventus legend to question the impact Ronaldo had on the team, with Leonardo Bonucci claiming earlier this year that the squad lost their desire to work hard for one another.

Giorgio Chiellini also said that Juventus players felt like they had to ‘play for Ronaldo’ while he was often blamed for stifling Paulo Dybala.

Ronaldo has drawn criticism this year for not pressing and having a negative impact on United, but Red Devils legend Roy Keane jumped to his defence by insisting the forward can get away with it because of his match-winning abilities.

Speaking last month, Keane said: “He’s a world class player, the idea Ronaldo will close people down he’s not going to. But sometimes you have to work around the superstar.

“I played with players who don’t do their bit you’d hope, the Cantonas of the world but you forgive him because they will score and win the matches.”

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