Cristiano Ronaldo is not a “leader” and Juventus should move on from having him as a key part of the team this summer, says former midfielder Massimo Mauro.
Since signing from Real Madrid in 2018, the Portugal forward has scored just shy of 100 goals in 126 games, winning the Serie A title in his first two years with the club, but he has not helped them take the final step in Europe to win the Champions League as they hoped.
Mauro, who played for Juve in the late 80s and won a league title of his own with the club, says Ronaldo is too individualistic to really inspire those around him, instead relying on them to serve his needs rather than make the team better as a whole.
“Ronaldo has never been a leader where he has played and he never will be,” Mauro told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“He is like a company and his turnover is more important to him than the success of the team.
“Cristiano doesn’t drag his team-mates along with him, he always wants them to give him the ball to score goals. He is a great individualist, he is not a team player.”
While director Fabio Paratici has said the No. 7’s “future is decided” and he’ll be staying at the club for the final year of his contract, Mauro doesn’t feel there’s any real reason to prolong the project.
Indeed, making the point that Juve have arguably regressed on the European scene - they reached the final in 2017 and the quarters the following year prior to Ronaldo joining, compared to last eight and consecutive knock-outs in the last 16 since he signed - the former Bianconeri man wants to see a parting of the ways.
“From the point of view of results, Juventus with him did not do better than in the past, they even did worse in the Champions League. That is why the best thing for both of them is that their paths separate.”
Real Madrid have been loosely linked with a move for Cristiano to return, though his wages are prohibitive to most clubs at 36 years of age, despite his ongoing prowess in front of goal.