Juventus won the 2019-20 Italian title with former Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri at the helm and Cristiano Ronaldo as the Turin club’s top scorer
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Former Chelsea and Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri addressed suggestions Cristiano Ronaldo would not play as a central striker for the Italian club and admitted he was making “an almost absurd request” of the forward.
Ronaldo became Juve’s top scorer under Sarri as they won the Scudetto in the 2019-20 season, with only Lazio’s Ciro Immobile surpassing his 31 league appearances in all of Serie A.
Sarri is now in charge of Immobile at Lazio but elaborated on his time in Turin this week, paying particular attention to Ronaldo’s suggestions – a doubt for Manchester United’s derby trip to the Etihad Stadium – wasn’t prepared to play as a centre-forward.
The Portugal international has regularly played a central role since returning to Old Trafford in the summer, but Sarri confirmed it hasn’t always been his preference in Italy.
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“Cristiano has scored more goals in Serie A than any other season with me,” Sarri told Sky Italia after Lazio’s win over Cagliari at the weekend, it has been reported Soccer Italy.
“He was prepared to play as a centre-forward in some games if we had an emergency situation, but he didn’t like the idea of doing that on a regular basis.
“In situations like this you question the certainties of the player. Ronaldo scored 35-40 goals a season by starting from that wider position, so it was an almost absurd request for him. That’s understandable given his style of play.”
Ronaldo scored four times in his first three goals Manchester United Appearances since rejoining the club in August but found the net just once in his first 10 appearances in 2022.
Former United captain Gary Neville, who played with the former Sporting CP man in Ronaldo’s first spell at Old Trafford, left his ex-colleague from a combination of Manchester City and Manchester United XI.
Ronaldo remains United’s top scorer in all competitions this season with 15 goals in 30 games in all competitions, but he’s a far cry from the 37 in 46 appearances he scored under Sarri.
His three seasons in Italy totaled 101 goals in 134 games, 81 of them in Serie A.
Despite winning the league in his freshman season, Sarri was fired from juventus after just a year after losing the Coppa Italia final and being eliminated from the Champions League in the hands of Lyons.
The Italian took over at Lazio in the summer of 2021 after predecessor Simone Inzaghi was appointed Inter Milan coach and has kept his side in contention for European qualification.
Top scorers Immobile were back in goal in Saturday night’s 3-0 win against Cagliari, taking their own tally to 25 in all competitions this season.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/maurizio-sarri-cristiano-ronaldo-juventus-26397829 Maurizio Sarri admits Cristiano Ronaldo's 'absurd' request during Juventus tenure