Buffon claims Juve lost ‘DNA of being a team’ because of Ronaldo

Joe Williams
Juventus duo Gianluigi Buffon and Cristiano Ronaldo celebrate

Former Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has claimed that the club “lost that DNA of being a team” when Cristiano Ronaldo was in Turin.

Ronaldo started the campaign with the Serie A side before rejoining the Red Devils in the last week of August for £19.7million.

Juventus have endured a poor first half of the season in Italy, winning only ten of their first 19 Serie A matches with Massimiliano Allegri under pressure.

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And Buffon – who now plays for Parma – thinks Juve “did well” initially with Ronaldo at the club but thinks he was the reason that they stopped “being a team”.

“Juventus had the chance to win the Champions League the first year he arrived, which was the year I was at Paris Saint-Germain, and I couldn’t figure out what happened,” Buffon told TUDN.com.

“When I returned, I worked with CR7 for two years and we did well together, but I think Juventus lost that DNA of being a team.

“We reached the Champions League final in 2017 because we were a side full of experience, but above all we were a single unit and there was this competition for places within the group that was very strong. We lost that with Ronaldo.”

In September, Leonardo Bonucci insisted that the “presence” of Ronaldo at Juventus was enough for some players to take their foot of the gas.

“This was the thing, the idea that one player, even the best in the world, could guarantee Juventus victory,” Bonucci said.

“Cristiano’s presence had a big influence on us. Just training with him gave us something extra but subconsciously players started to think his presence alone was enough to win games.

“We began to fall a little short in our daily work, the humility, the sacrifice, the desire to be there for your team-mate day after day. Over the last few years, I think you could see that.”

And Giorgio Chiellini criticised Cristiano Ronaldo in October for deciding to join Manchester United so late in the summer transfer window, claiming Juventus “paid for it” at the start of this season.

Chiellini told DAZN: “We had reached a point in the relationship where Cristiano needed new incentives and a new team that could play for him, because when he finds such a team he is decisive.

“He has been proving it in recent months and showed it in the three years that he was with us.

“A rejuvenation restart programme grew here at Juventus. If Ronaldo had stayed, it would have been an added value and we would have gladly exploited it, but he might be thinking more about the present than the future.

“He left on August 28th, it would have been better for us if he had left earlier. It’s something we paid for, there’s a little shock in it for you and in my opinion we paid for it in terms of points.

“Had he gone away on August 1st, we would have had time to prepare better.”