Football

Cristiano Ronaldo backed by Massimiliano Allegri



The attacker has yet to net for the Turin side since his summer move, but his coach still thinks he has been the world’s best player this season

Cristiano Ronaldo will break his Juventus duck when the Serie A giants face Sassuolo, according to Massimiliano Allegri, who also believes the Portugal star deserves to win FIFA’s The Best Award.

Ronaldo is still searching for his first Juve goal, despite having had 23 attempts across the first three Serie A matches of the season.

The 33-year-old, who arrived from Real Madrid in the summer, has had more efforts on goal without finding the net than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues, but Allegri is confident that Ronaldo – who he claims should edge out Mohamed Salah and Luka Modric for The Best award – will find his form against Sassuolo.

“Cristiano worked well and I think Sunday could be his day,” Allegri told a press conference.

“I believe that Cristiano deserves to win the FIFA World Player award, even if Modric has had a phenomenal year as well.”

Ronaldo is not the only Juve forward struggling for form so far this term with Paulo Dybala having failed to score or assist in his two appearances.

Allegri, though, has no concerns over the Argentine’s ability, insisting that the clash with Sassuolo represents the start of Juve’s season in earnest.

“There can be no questioning Paulo Dybala’s qualities. I liked his performance against Parma. Like all the other players, he needs to reach peak condition,” Allegri said.

“This is where the seasons starts. The first objectives are to qualify from our Champions League group and lead the way in the league in order to be fighting on all fronts come March.

“In the first three games we conceded too much. We will have to find a different solidity. Sassuolo have enthusiasm and good players.”

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Allegri confirmed that no players who played two matches for their national teams over the past week, with the exception of Blaise Matuidi, will feature on Sunday, but Emre Can is in line for his Juve debut.

“Sunday will see Can make his first start for Juventus. I’ll probably rest Miralem Pjanic, while I’ll decide on Sami Khedira later,” Allegri said.

“Wojciech Szczesny will play [against Sassuolo], but Mattia Perin is ready and will be playing soon.”



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