World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo will try again to score his first goal for Juventus and Inter Milan will attempt to secure their first league win of the season in the weekend’s Serie A games.
Ronaldo added another prize to his collection on Tuesday when his bicycle kick goal for Real Madrid away to Juventus in April won UEFA’s vote for the goal of the season.
The goal also earned him a standing ovation from the Juventus crowd at the end of that game and Ronaldo said recently that their reaction partly influenced his decision to join the Turin side in a surprise move in July.
The 33-year-old, however, would probably settle for a tap-in or a penalty to get off the mark for his new side when they visit promoted Parma on Saturday.
Given that Ronaldo scored 311 goals in 292 La Liga matches for Real Madrid, two scoreless games for Juventus is already beginning to feel like a drought — and his failure to hit the back of the net certainly has not been for want of trying.
Ronaldo was denied by an inspired display by Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino in his opening game, won 3-2 by Juventus, and again by Lazio’s Thomas Strakosha in their 2-0 win last Saturday.
He also missed an open goal in that game but in doing so unwittingly set up an assist for Mario Mandzukic.
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said Ronaldo just needed more time.
“He’s intelligent and understands that Italian football is different to that in Spain,” he said. “I know everyone is waiting for his first goal… I’m happy with the way he is fitting in.”
Parma have been to the fourth division and back since their 1-0 win over Juventus when the teams last met in 2015.
Shortly after that win, Parma were relegated and subsequently kicked out of the league after going bankrupt.
As often happens in Italian football, they were quickly re-founded, accepted into the fourth tier of the league and managed three straight promotions for the quickest possible return to Serie A.
Juventus, Napoli and surprise package SPAL are the only teams with a maximum six points after two games while Inter, touted as possible contenders before the season, find themselves with one point after a miserable start.
Following a 1-0 defeat at Sassuolo in their opening game, they squandered a 2-0 halftime lead against Torino last Sunday and were held 2-2, prompting coach Luciano Spalletti to suggest that the psychological weaknesses they had last season had not gone away.
“These moments have characterised Inter in recent years,” he said. “It also happened last season. To remain at a certain level then we must still build a specific type of mentality. To win every single match isn’t easy and we must still make steps forward.
“Clearly the reality is that the team is struggling with pressure.”