Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has been branded as a “big problem” for the defending Italian champions and is “not what he was four years ago.”
That’s according to former Real Madrid and Roma forward Antonio Cassano, who has once again criticised the 36-year-old Portuguese talisman.
Ronaldo has been in excellent goalscoring form for Juventus this season, despite Andrea Pirlo’s men languishing in their Serie A title defence.
However, the former Madrid and Manchester United superstar’s future has been in doubt after Juventus exited the Champions League earlier this month.
Ronaldo has been linked with a sensational return to Los Blancos, with Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane hinting that the rumours ‘could be true.’
Cassano, 38, has been critical of the Portugal captain in the past and even branded him a “manufactured talent” as he praised Barcelona captain Lionel Messi.
The outspoken Italian former striker has even branded Ronaldo a ‘failure at Juventus,’ saying that he “doesn’t participate much” in matches.
Now, Cassano insisted that Juventus signed the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to “win the Champions League and they failed.”
Speaking to Christian Vieri’s Twitch channel Bobo TV, the former Italy international explained: “Juventus got rid of a coach [Massimiliano Allegri] who, in the last 20 or 30 years, has produced the best football in Italy and his big problem was one: Cristiano Ronaldo.
“It was for [Maurizio] Sarri and it is for Pirlo.
“Juve already got burned last year, because Sarri was unable to find the right chemistry with him and some other players and what do you do?
“You take another coach who would like to play football and you still have Cristiano Ronaldo as a blocker for that.
“If you have chosen the path of [playing a certain type of] football, Ronaldo is not good.
“He is someone you have to give the ball to and he scores, thinking about his records. Ronaldo is not what he was four years ago.
“They signed him to win the Champions League and they failed. Pirlo, as a coach, is a rookie and he hasn’t got the experience to handle the player with the highest media profile in the world on his team because he can create problems for you.
“[Dejan] Kulusevski, for example, is very conditioned by Ronaldo, he is not free, he is always looking for him.
“If you have young people without a strong mentality, then problems arise.”