Cristiano Ronaldo will not “run away” from Juventus, says former Bianconeri defender Nicola Legrottaglie, with the Portuguese expected to remain in Turin and “try for another year” to deliver long-awaited Champions League glory.
Another European adventure has come to a close for the Serie A heavyweights, with a shock last-16 exit suffered at the hands of Porto.
There have been suggestions on the back of that disappointment that five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo could be moved on this summer at the age of 36, but Legrottaglie believes the proven performer will be back for more as he embraces the challenges being laid out in from him.
What has been said?
Legrottaglie, who spent eight years with Juve between 2003 and 2011, told Radio Bianconera: “Knowing Cristiano, he isn’t one to run away. He will stay until he reaches his goal. He wants the Champions League and he will try at least for another year.
“Against Porto he performed badly, and was massacred by the critics. I think he won’t give up, as he’ll take on his responsibilities and will try to win the Champions League next year.
“There is great disappointment after the Champions League exit, and the fans have certainly suffered the negative effect as Juventus have shown that they are still at a lower level than the other big teams.
“The disappointment is not only due to being eliminated, but because it happened at the hands of Porto, which isn’t considered to be a great team. It must be understood why a team like Juventus would go out in the second round against Porto.
“The rest is just a part of the game, as the Champions League is different from the domestic competitions in Italy, and certainly some players did not give the support they should have given.
“This Juventus side cannot do without Ronaldo, and they need some solidity in the defensive phase. Several goals had been given to the opposition, therefore there’s something wrong in defence.”
What does Ronaldo’s contract expire?
An all-time great committed to a four-year deal when moving to Italy from Real Madrid in the summer of 2018.
He is approaching the final 12 months of that agreement, with his current terms due to run until 2022.
Fresh terms were mooted at one stage, but Ronaldo is now seeing questions asked of his ongoing presence at Juventus.
Where could Ronaldo end up?
Despite maintaining remarkable standards in front of goal during his time at Juve, with the target found on 92 occasions through 121 appearances, the Portuguese icon is facing accusations of not being the talismanic presence he once was.
Plenty have, however, suggested that his playing career could be extended for several more years, with many tipping him to play on past his 40th birthday.
It remains to be seen where those campaigns will be played out, with talk of a move to MLS – amid admissions of interest from David Beckham at Inter Miami – doing the rounds as Ronaldo approaches another important crossroad.