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Cristiano Ronaldo

Pirlo responds as Ronaldo again criticised for ducking in wall for Parma's free-kick goal

09:35 BST 22/04/2021
Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus 2020-21
The Bianconeri head coach admits that he has a decision to make on the Portuguese after seeing him fail to perform blocking duties

Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo admits that he has a decision to make on Cristiano Ronaldo's ongoing presence in defensive walls after seeing the Portuguese spark another ducking storm.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has scored 97 goals for Juve since joining from Real Madrid, while his presence is often needed in defensive walls, given his height and frame.

The 36-year-old has, however, faced criticism of late for an apparent reluctance to commit fully to blocking dangerous free-kicks, with Porto firing beyond him to claim a notable Champions League scalp and Parma drilling over Ronaldo's head in a Serie A outing on Wednesday.

What has been said?

Juve hit back to claim a 3-1 win over Parma, with Alex Sandro stepping up as an unlikely hero as he bagged two goals, but much of the post-match discussion focused on Ronaldo.

Pirlo was quizzed by Sky Sport Italia on whether he will need to remove a superstar performer from wall duty after seeing him duck under an effort from Gaston Brugman.

The Bianconeri boss said: "Unfortunately these things happen, we will evaluate what to do in the next matches and whether to put him in the wall."

Pirlo's take on the Super League

Inevitably, given the events of the last few days, Pirlo was also quizzed on the Super League proposals that Juve figured prominently in.

Andrea Agnelli had been heading up those talks, but a project that had been in the pipeline for some time has collapsed in on itself following a fierce backlash from players, supporters and sporting organisations.

Pirlo said when asked for his take on the Super League, which saw 12 teams initially sign up to be founder members: "Agnelli explained what was happening, but that the most important thing was to secure a place in the top four to qualify for the Champions League."

He added on the closed-house format of a breakaway league that would have seen Juve face no threat of dropping out of an elite competition: "I already spoke about it, so did the president and the director. 

"We all know the same things. Something has to be changed on the European level, because the ideas that were proposed were good ones, but we are also open to other suggestions and will respect the rules."

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