Monday April 12 2021
Ronaldo and the ball boy: what's the point?

It is still unclear whether Cristiano Ronaldo threw his jersey to a ball boy on purpose, but Lorenzo Bettoni argues that's the last thing Juventus should be worried about.

When Cristiano Ronaldo threw his Juventus jersey to the ground yesterday, I didn't have the feeling it was meant to be a present for the ball boy. The kid took a while to figure out there was a Cristiano Ronaldo shirt on the ground.

He looked around quickly to see if someone else had seen it and then suddenly went over the advertisement board to pick it up. What a day it must have been for him.

Reports in Italy suggest Ronaldo did want to throw the shirt at the ball boy, which, again, is not the same feeling I had watching the scene live. I may be wrong, of course. But whether Ronaldo wanted to give his jersey to the ball boy or throw it on the ground, this is not the most relevant talking point from the whole situation.

I was attending the game at the Allianz Stadium yesterday. At the end of the match, I was watching Ronaldo because he had been pretty unsettled during the whole game. Juventus won 3-1, but without his name on the scoresheet.

Ronaldo wasn't happy with his performance and wasn't impressed by his teammates either. It's not the first time it had happened since he joined Juventus, and it's not the first time it had happened in his career.

The Portuguese star is a record-breaking machine that feeds himself with goals, goals and goals. Ronaldo reproached Federico Chiesa a couple of times yesterday as the former Fiorentina winger didn't give him service, despite CR7 being in a good position inside Genoa's box.

He also shouted to Giorgio Chiellini, urging him to "keep attacking" as Genoa were reduced to 10 men due to Davide Zappacosta's injury in the second half.

He wasn't happy, and his body language proved that. He often shook his head in discontent, and he also did it when leaving the pitch. Finally, he threw the shirt to the ground, and the ball boy picked it up. Whether it was meant to be a present or not, Cristiano Ronaldo's irritability is a fact, and Juventus must reflect on that.

Ronaldo has been Juventus' best scorer over the last three seasons and is the Serie A leading scorer with 25 goals in 27 games this term.

However, Juventus are likely to miss out on their 10th successive Scudetto and have been eliminated from the Champions League round of 16 for the second season in a row.

The Bianconeri reached their peak in 2018-19, when they won the Serie A title in February but failed to win the Coppa Italia and go beyond the Champions League quarter-finals.

Now, they are not as competitive as they used to be. That's not an opinion but  a fact. And if Juventus are not competitive, neither is Ronaldo. Or at least he can't be on the same level as the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Kylian Mbappé, Neymar and his former Real Madrid teammates, who have had some brilliant Champions League campaigns over the last couple of years.

Ronaldo is irritable, and Andrea Pirlo confirmed it yesterday, even adding it's a "normal thing."

Does the rest of the dressing room think the same? Don’t forget, Ronaldo joined a group of veterans that had won everything in Italy over the last decade, and ironically has achieved less since the 36-year-old moved to Turin in 2018.

Ronaldo has little responsibility for that, but his complaining behaviour can be easier to accept when things are going well and trophies are being lifted.

The Portuguese star has one year left in his contract, and the next few months will be decisive to decide his future as he's due to meet the club's executives before the end of the season. Are Juventus competitive enough to match his expectations? Can the club still afford him after being severely hit by the COVID pandemic?

Also, is there a team in Europe who will pay Ronaldo's €31m-a-year salary plus a €30m fee to Juventus to secure his services, in case he wants to leave? Ultimately, does Ronaldo have enough motivation to spend one last year at the Allianz Stadium?

Both he and Juventus need to answer all these questions and maybe more.

Surely, Ronaldo will need to play Champions League football next season, something that Juventus are not yet guaranteed, having a mere three-point lead over fifth-placed Napoli and games against Atalanta, Inter and Milan looming on the horizon.

Whether Ronaldo threw his jersey to the ball boy or not makes little difference. The former Real Madrid man looks more and more irritable on the pitch as the days pass. The answer to how long that tension will last may also reveal how long he will still be a Juventus player.


Have your say...
The guys a clown get rid of him. Should have got his top and wrapped round his neck!
on the 16th April, 2021 at 8:55pm
@Thedukeofjuvel Speaking of obsession, Congratulations! Tuesday was the 10 year anniversary of the last time Inter played a Round of 16 match in Champions League! Hope you rememberws to celebrate it !!
on the 16th April, 2021 at 6:34pm
The time has come for Juve to turn the page with Ronaldo and move forward with our youth, Alegri put it best when he said Ronaldo is hindering the teams growth, let our youth carry the team forward, Ronaldo is no longer the Answer for Juve and must leave let him find another team that pads his ego, his time is up here the experiment has failed and we need to focus on a coach and a midfield to turn this team around
on the 15th April, 2021 at 11:04pm
@I MISS JUVE IN SERIE B: looking at the CL results since Treble you went from that to skydiving to the lowest you can go in CL - last in the group stage - what the heck happened ??
on the 15th April, 2021 at 9:00pm

blah blah blah 3 years bs bs
bs bs 10 years blah blah
on the 15th April, 2021 at 3:34am

Inter is living in your head, completely rent free. Pathetic nerd.
on the 14th April, 2021 at 9:09pm

Lol find both equally dificult? What do you mean? Go watch our Treble highlights in 2010, such joy. Rubentus will never experience the greatness we have achieved. You can only obsess with Inter while Rube fail in Europe for almost three decades. Buying Ronaldo to win the CL but getting kicked out by Ajax, Lyon and a 10 man Porto. You should just stfu and be humble.
on the 14th April, 2021 at 9:02pm
@I MISS MARCO BRANCA AT INTER... do you remember when Juve won something in Europe after you were born? Yeah, me neither. Say hello to Paratici, we really love him.
on the 14th April, 2021 at 8:17pm
@Deathstroke: So what is easier:
A-Passing the CL group stage
B-Winning the CL ?

I do know one thing, there's at least 1 italian team that find both equally difficult - try not extending Inter's record of the only Italian team to get kicked out of the CL group stage for 3 years and make it 4 years !!!! Inter already has that record and it's untouchable - that will always be an Inter record so there's no need to extend it next season !!!!
on the 14th April, 2021 at 6:35pm
@I MISS MARCO BRANCA AT INTER Lol i see you are now trolling at Football Italia. Haven't seen you on the Sempreinter forum since we came back to the CL in 2018. You are still the same loser who is obsessed about Inter. Still throwing your number nonsense about us not making it 10 years since a CL group stage lol. How about this one: 22 May this year marks the 25th (!) anniversary of Rube winning the CL lol. The pain you must feel seeing Inter succeed using Conte and Marotta, i love it!
on the 14th April, 2021 at 11:45am
send a player through on goal then 99% of the time CR7 will make the pass. Chiesa didn't do it on a couple of occasions vs Genoa and CR7 was pissed off. The problem with this team is that our Manager sucks, as does Alex Sandro and our entire midfield, Dybala always injured and Morata never consistent. We just don't have enough players that we can rely on. In the summer we need new full backs, 2 WORLD CLASS midfielders, a WORLD CLASS striker, and preferably a new Manager.
on the 14th April, 2021 at 7:23am
Laying the blame at the feet of CR7 is ridiculous. This whole narrative of he doesn't pass the ball to teammates in better positions is nonsense. Occasionally it does happen of course, but that's the case with every top striker. When they see an opening the shoot because they believe they'll score. Some people talk as if there's been a bunch of games where we'd have won but didn't because Ronaldo chose to shoot instead of pass to someone else for a tap in. If there is a clear ball on that will
on the 14th April, 2021 at 7:19am

I would celebrate you not commenting bs for 10 days, let alone 10 years. But people with miserable lives like to troll. So I don´t blame you.
on the 14th April, 2021 at 12:37am
@ Marco Branca - Your obsession with Inter is hillarious. I will give you a tip - this blog is about Juventus....
on the 13th April, 2021 at 7:42pm
@dzurjakcsopi: Congratulations! Today is the 10 year anniversary of the last time Inter played a Round of 16 match in Champions League! Hope you remember to celebrate it !!
on the 13th April, 2021 at 5:41pm
The point is: Ronaldo won't get any younger and so far the CR7 PROJECT is failed. Let's be honest to ourselves, We all love Ronaldo in our team except for Messi fanboys out there. But like I said earlier, he won't get any younger so I think now Pirlo is working on the right path, starting with telling young players like Chiesa and Kulu to play easy, enjoy your game, and don't think too much about passing the ball to Ronaldo.
on the 13th April, 2021 at 9:36am
Ronaldo maybe at times selfish. wants to score but the guy won 5 c.leagues with that mindset. like i said. i think it is a mindset juve has to have to win the c.league. get comfortable scoring alot of goals. because in the c.league it is a gamble. you may be down a leg but once a team is comfortable scoring lots of goals, no lead an opposition has is comfortable.its why i knew juve would struggle against porto because they really score 3 or 4 goals in a game. pirlo i see is trying to change that
on the 13th April, 2021 at 6:11am
Yes he might be a pre Madonna ,but he was in a better scoring position and made good runs and demanded the ball which was not passed to him . It’s a case of some players trying to be clever and taking risks with fancy tricks . When playing as individuals when they have no momentum in killing games off the easy pass should be on . Period ! Maybe that’s why he is eggy and he should be after making such space from runs and not getting the pass
on the 13th April, 2021 at 5:38am
Another very intelligent and "funny" comment from you.
He wouldn´t be happy on the bench, and couldn´t make it in the starting 11.
on the 13th April, 2021 at 2:18am
Weakening squads? Are we kidding? That team has definitely not weakened (on paper at least) since Allegri left. Ramsey, Rabiot, De Ligt. May I remind a couple of you that I remember the days when Sturaro, Rincon or Lemina would get plenty of minutes. They've just signed two of the most promising wingers in Italy (Kulu and Chiesa). Juve's issue goes beyond Ronaldo. It's their tendency to rely on way-overpaid mercenaries who'd never have to guts the play for any team less "prestigious".
on the 13th April, 2021 at 1:48am
The Ronaldo fixation is a manifestation of Juve fan frustration. This team failure cannot be laid at his feet.Yes he is greedy and loves the limelight, loves being a star, yet he has always Remained a team player helping to bring trophies wherever he has played. He is one of the hardest working players in the sport, humble and loved by teammates. No player can win on his own in a team game and his motivation to continue winning is unmatched. Success has many fathers,failure an orphan.
on the 12th April, 2021 at 11:46pm
Ronaldo is not the problem, the problem has been the coaches in charge since he joined coupled with weakened squad with bad signings. If we had the squad with the astute manager of Alegri then we would have won the league and champions league. Maybe with Alegri and no Ronaldo. Alegri took us to lots of finals with a real team. We have suffered with bad managers and that is ultimately where Juventus have gone wrong.
on the 12th April, 2021 at 8:55pm
The truth is Allegri, Sarri complained, the latter in more clear language that “I have been given individualistic players to try make a team out of” . This was a clear attack on CR7. A justified attack. It’s good to be motivated to always score but for heavenward sake, it’s a team sport and if someone is better placed than you to score, pass to them or let them.
on the 12th April, 2021 at 6:46pm
@Grava I agree with you 100%. There is no denying CR7 is a scoring machine but Juve will do better with him sold as he costs the tram with selfish play. Even when he passes the ball, he avoids putting someone through on goal and passing it to someone who can then pass it back to him or cross into the box where he will be this costing us. He feels more important than the team.
on the 12th April, 2021 at 6:41pm
Inter should get CR7, he might help them pass the CL group stage !
on the 12th April, 2021 at 6:38pm
In a nutshell this action explains everything about this clown. As i said earlier Ibra stated best "you dont come to juve to win something" and he cannot even deliver that. Not sure why juve fans are delusional about this player. Seria A has never been about one player but as a team effort. La Liga on the other hand is knock soccer bang the ball around like a pinball machine until it goes in which is perfect for their many wannabe stars.
on the 12th April, 2021 at 5:07pm
The funny thing is the club and coach try to justify what Ronaldo does, but they are strict on other players.
Ronaldo has been declining and it’s obvious as he misses clear goal opportunities for Portugal and Juventus.
on the 12th April, 2021 at 4:52pm
In regards to having the team continue to press when in the lead, I totally agree with Ronaldo. However this is the Juventus mentality. They vary rarely run up the score, settling with a 2 goal lead and then play keep away. If he wants to pad his numbers, their is a team in France that can help.
on the 12th April, 2021 at 3:41pm
Their is a divide among Juventini on Ronaldo. Those who say we won without him and those who follow him from club to club. Ones who care about Juve and ones who care about his battle with Messi and stats.

IMO, the title run would of ended if they did not sign him. He was able to milk out a few more based off of his talent. As a striker, of course you get mad if you are not getting service. I counted at least 4 times when he was in excellent position but didn't get the ball or a poor pass.
on the 12th April, 2021 at 3:39pm
Watching the stills he did not throw the shirt to the ground, it looks like he is throwing it towards someone. I think the ball boy was stunned his request was granted as he usually exchanges it with another player.
on the 12th April, 2021 at 3:34pm

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