Cristiano Ronaldo Speaks Out on Recent Juventus Substitutions Amid Fitness Confusion

Cristiano Ronaldo has backed Maurizio Sarri’s decision to substitute him in successive Juventus matches, saying that while he ‘doesn’t like’ being withdrawn, niggling injury issues have stopped him being able to complete games. T

The Portugal forward has netted six goals in 14 appearances for ​Juve this season, but appeared aggravated at Sarri’s decision to withdraw him with ten minutes remaining against Lokomotiv Moscow in the ​Champions League last Wednesday – and then again just ten minutes into the second half against AC Milan at the weekend. 

Juve won both matches with goals that came about after Ronaldo’s withdrawal, while there has been speculation over whether the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s substitution was enforced or purely tactical.

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Ronaldo was included in Portugal’s squad for the international break, with the player himself ​insisting he is fully fit.

However, after scoring in Portugal’s final Euro 2020 qualifier against Luxembourg, the forward appeared to backtrack on his earlier comments, adding that his withdrawals for Juventus were necessary.

“In the last three weeks, I have been playing despite not being fully fit,” Ronaldo told the media after  as quoted by ​Forza Italian Football

“I don’t like to be substituted, but I have been playing despite not being fully fit and I tried to help Juventus. I understand the substitutions, as I wasn’t 100 percent. 

“In these two games with Portugal I wasn’t at 100 percent either. But I am very proud to sacrifice myself for the national team or for my club.

“In my career, I never had serious injuries, as I usually do between 50 and 60 games [per season], but I am having some discomfort that prevents me from being at 100 percent.”

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Having concluded his country’s qualifying campaign with his 99th international goal, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star will have a week to rest before he finds himself back in the thick of it against Atalanta in Serie A. 

That’s swiftly followed by a key Champions League tie, as Juve take on Atlético Madrid looking to win Group D. 


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