Saturday July 4 2020
Sarri: 'Surprised by Ronaldo and Cuadrado'

Maurizio Sarri believes he’s been able to ‘convince’ Paulo Dybala of the new role and reveals what ‘surprised’ him about Juventus stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Juan Cuadrado.

The Bianconeri emerged 4-1 winners against Torino thanks to Dybala, Cuadrado, Ronaldo and a Koffi Djidji own goal.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game, but we went in front early and doubled our lead soon after,” Sarri told Sky Sport Italia.

“Perhaps that lulled us into a false sense of security, so Torino’s penalty made us lose control of the match. We were a bit chaotic at the start of the second half, but when fatigue set it, that’s when our quality emerged.”

This was Ronaldo’s first ever free kick in the Juventus jersey, after 43 attempts in all competition.

“I honestly didn’t think this was bothering him, but at the end of the game he said: At last!” confessed the coach.

“I have a strong rapport with Dybala, we are honest with each other and I never had the slightest doubts about him. He was just a little unlucky last season, I always told him how he should train and play, just as he told me what he thought.

“I think I’ve managed to convince him that he needs to play closer to Ronaldo and not track back so much into our own half to get the ball.”

The second goal was scored by Cuadrado, who is becoming a surprisingly effective right-back.

“I have honestly been surprised not by Cuadrado’s quality, as we all knew that, but the hard work he puts in to play in defence,” added Sarri.

“He has this level of concentration in training that is frankly extraordinary, so he’s become a good defender, maintaining his physicality and technique that he used in attack. His flank is fundamental, as he has either Federico Bernardeschi or Douglas Costa in front of him, so there’s always a lot going down that side.”

Gianluigi Buffon set a new all-time Serie A record today with his 648th appearance. Will the 42-year-old also be able to beat Alessandro Del Piero’s record of Juventus games, as he’s only 35 away?

“Maybe… he definitely won’t beat the record for scoring goals, though!”