Gianluigi Buffon has become the latest big-name within Italian football to speak poorly of Cristiano Ronaldo’s impact on Juventus after his 2018 arrival from Real Madrid.
The Portuguese joined Italy’s Old Lady from Los Blancos for a three-year spell, in which time many around Italian football believe Juventus regressed. Having won seven straight Serie A titles prior to his arrival, they won two more before losing out to Inter last season.
Away from domestic action, Juventus had been to two Champions League finals in the four years prior to his arrival but never made it beyond the quarter-finals with him.
“Juventus had the chance to win the Champions League the first year he was there, when I was at Paris Saint-Germain,” Buffon said in an interview with TUDN.
“I couldn’t understand what happened.”
“When I returned I worked with him for two years and we did well, but I think Juventus lost their team DNA while he was there.”
“We reached the 2017 Champions League final because we were a team packed with experience, but above all, we were a team. We lost that with Ronaldo.”
Leonardo Bonucci had previously told The Athletic that Juventus’ players subconsciously grew over-reliant on Cristiano Ronaldo after his arrival.
To the future
Looking ahead to his post-playing days, the Parma goalkeeper expressed doubts about what his life in football holds when he hangs up his gloves.
“If you ask me now what I’ll do next, I honestly don’t know if I’ll be a coach,” Buffon said.
“Knowing how I am, I think what I’ll want to do is improve.”
“The fact that I haven’t won the Champions League keeps my competitive spirit live. I’m in good shape.”
“Maybe if I’d already won the Champions League I would have retired because I wouldn’t have any important achievement left to aim for.”