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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Juventus lost their DNA after Ronaldo’s arrival, says Buffon

Ronaldo scored 101 goals in 135 appearances for Juventus and won Serie A twice.

By: Reuters |
December 24, 2021 11:52:34 am
Soccer Football - Champions League Quarter Final First Leg - Juventus vs Real Madrid - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - April 3, 2018 Juventus' Gianluigi Buffon and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Juventus great Gianluigi Buffon said Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival at the club in 2018 ultimately led to them losing their “DNA of being a team”.

Ronaldo, now back at Manchester United for a second spell, scored 101 goals in 135 appearances for Juventus and won Serie A twice but the club did not progress beyond the Champions League quarter-final stage during his three years there.

Buffon returned to his first club Parma in June after nearly two decades at Juventus — he spent the 2018-19 season at Paris St Germain — where he won 10 Serie A titles.

“Juventus had the chance to win the Champions League the first year he arrived, which was the year I was at Paris St Germain, and I couldn’t figure out what happened,” Buffon told American broadcast network.

“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.”

Juventus are fifth in Serie A, 12 points adrift of leaders Inter Milan, and host third-placed Napoli on January 6.

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