Serie A

Cristiano Ronaldo isn't the reason Juventus are struggling this season

Former Italy and Roma forward Antonio Cassano claimed the Portuguese superstar was 'too selfish' in the wake of Juve's 2-1 defeat to Porto

9:00am on Monday 22nd February 2021
Emmet Gates

Andrea Pirlo has struggled at certain times since taking the reigns of Juventus this season. The new coach is still trying to find his best XI, and is still trying to assert his influence over the team in the manner in which he wants.

The 2-1 loss against Porto in the Champions League Round of 16 was one of the Bianconeri's worst performances of the campaign. Juve looked toothless, devoid of any pace and creativity for the majority of the encounter.

Cristiano Ronaldo came in for particular criticism from the Italian media, given his affinity for the competition.

Ronaldo drew the ire of former Italian international Antonio Cassano, who labelled the 36-year-old as 'selfish'.

"I have always said, even though he is a phenomenon and has scored a billion goals, that with Andrea Pirlo's idea of football he could run into difficulties," Cassano said to Christian Vieri on Twitch.

"He scores a goal per game, it's true, but he struggles with Andrea's idea. He's always been a bit selfish, he doesn't give a damn about others scoring goals.

"He's the kind of player that lives to score, not for the game, for the great match. He lives to score and in this moment the situation is getting worse. The years pass for everyone and he is having difficulties."

But is this really true? Is Ronaldo a selfish player?

Is Cristiano Ronaldo a selfish player at Juventus?

🗝️ Key Stats

Cristiano Ronaldo 2020/21 Serie A stats

Shots Per Game5.14
Passes Per Game34.65
Touches P90 Inside Box7.6
Touches P90 Outside Box54.8

In terms of shots per game, Ronaldo's output has actually decreased this season, compared to last season, which stood at 6.32.

Furthermore, his passing per game average has also decreased this season compared to last, with Ronaldo posting 36.79 passes in 2019/20.

However, this is also due in part to Ronaldo seeing less of the ball this season compared to last, with the No.7 registering 54.8 touches outside the box P90, down from 56.6.

His touches inside the box P90 have increased this season, from 6.9 to 7.6, showing that perhaps Ronaldo is spending more time inside the opposition penalty area than in previous years.

Another increase can be seen in the amount of time Ronaldo is being flagged offside, which has risen from 0.97 in 2019/20 to 1.17 this term. Evidence perhaps that Ronaldo is morphing into a classic goal-poacher than a swashbuckling left-winger.

Juve's troubles this season are perhaps more a case of Pirlo's system quite not clicking, as opposed to Cassano's assertion that Ronaldo is 'selfish' and the root cause of all their problems.

The evidence is there that Ronaldo is seeing less of the ball, and isn't involved in as much of the play under Pirlo than his predecessors.

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