Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo rested Cristiano Ronaldo against Benevento but provided two different reasons to explain why CR7 didn’t travel with the rest of the team to the Ciro Vigorito.
Juventus were held to a 1-1 stalemate by Benevento on Saturday with Cristiano Ronaldo who remained in Turin to rest.
“It was programmed not to let him come to Benevento,” Pirlo told Juventus TV on the eve of the match.
The Portuguese star didn’t travel to Benevento at all even if the Italian tactician may have needed him in the second half with Juventus that couldn’t manage to score the winner.
Juventus fans have questioned Pirlo’s choice on social media, especially because the Old Lady are due to play Dynamo Kiev in Champions League on Wednesday but have already qualified for the last-16 stage.
The Serie A giants have only won one of their four games played without the former Real Madrid star this season.
After the draw at the Ciro Vigorito, Pirlo provided a slightly different explanation to justify Ronaldo’s absence.
“He had a slight problem midweek and wanted to play in the Champions League anyway. After international duty, it was natural he’d need some rest. Ronaldo is an added value, but we must try to play our game even in his absence," he told Sky Sport.
“It happens when you have a lot of players on international duty and also play the Champions League, we’re hardly the only club in this situation.
“Real Madrid were dependent on Ronaldo, he is a catalyst for goals and a focal point for moves, so it’s only to be expected he will be a central figure and many moves go through him.”