Cristiano Ronaldo has been branded ‘selfish’ by Antonio Cassano after Juventus’ Champions League defeat to Porto on Wednesday night. The Portugal international failed to shine for Andrea Pirlo’s side. And their hopes of reaching the last eight of the competition have now suffered a huge blow.
Juventus went into Wednesday’s match with Porto looking to take a giant step towards the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
However, they instead slumped to a disappointing defeat at the Estadio do Dragao.
The 2004 winners picked up a crucial first leg lead through Mehdi Taremi and Moussa Marega, with Federico Chiesa then on target for the visitors.
Ronaldo saw a late goal chalked off by VAR and, throughout the contest, looked flat.
And Cassano has now slammed the Portugal international, labelling him as ‘selfish’ and expressing a belief he’s struggling under Pirlo’s watch.
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“I have always said, considering that he’s a phenomenon and has scored a billion goals, that it could be difficult with Andrea Pirlo’s idea of football,” he told Bobo TV after the game.
“He scores a goal per game, it’s true, but struggles with the ideas of Andrea.
“He has always been a bit selfish, he doesn’t care about others scoring goals, he’s the kind of player who lives to score.
“He doesn’t live for the play, the great match, he lives for the goal and at this moment, the situation is getting worse.
“Years go by for everyone and he is having difficulties. Juventus are trying to change their ideas and play a different type of football, due to the qualities of Ronaldo.’”
Meanwhile, former Juventus boss Fabio Capello ripped into the Serie A giants – expressing a belief their performance was ‘unacceptable’.
“He doesn’t live for the play, the great match, he lives for the goal and at this moment, the situation is getting worse,” he said.
“Years go by for everyone and he is having difficulties.
“Juventus are trying to change their ideas and play a different type of football, due to the qualities of Ronaldo.”
Pirlo himself was furious, insisting Juventus gifted Porto the win with sloppy individual errors.
“We had prepared well for this game, it was not the attitude we wanted, but conceding a goal in the opening minute when we handed it to them on a silver platter made everything more difficult,” Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia.
“When you concede a goal after one minute, a strange one at that, it’s natural the players will lose confidence, especially against a side that knows how to clam up in defence.
“Our approach was wrong after we conceded the goal … We had planned on attacking the deeper spaces, but if you take too many touches, things get complicated. We weren’t smart, the ball was moved around too slowly.
“Porto got the game immediately on the track they wanted.
“With such a packed fixture list, it’s normal you can’t always maintain absolute focus and the right tempo, but it shouldn’t have happened in the round of 16 of the Champions League.”
Juventus will face Porto in the second leg on March 9.
Before then, they face Crotone, Verona, Spezia and Lazio in Serie A.