Cristiano Ronaldo has hit back at critics of his defensive contributions at Juventus
Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo has hit back at criticism concerning a perceived lack of defensive responsibilities in his gameplay. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner stated that his primary responsibility within a team is to score goals and those who do not understand that is because they do not like him.
Ronaldo made these comments in an apparent response to criticisms received from his former teammates at the Old Lady, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini. The Portugal captain stressed that he is a team player and he knows when to help out the team defensively.
The United striker made new comments in the latest episode of Amazon Prime’s ‘All or Nothing’ series on Juventus.
“This is a collective game. Nobody in the world, alone, can make a difference,” Ronaldo said.
These were follow-up clarifications on his earlier comments in October when the United striker stated that he recognises when he is required to help out the team defensively.
The former Juventus striker said: “I know when the team needs my help defensively. But my role in the club is to win, help the team to win and to score goals – it’s part of my job. The people who don’t want to see that is because they don’t like me.”
Earlier in the season, Bonucci implied that the Juventus side was set up to play for Ronaldo when he was at the club. The Italian defender told Football Italia: Last year the team played for him, now the group must rediscover that Juve spirit that was there before his arrival.”
Chiellini also echoed the same thoughts, stating that the 5-time Ballon d’Or winner needed a new team that would ‘play for him.’
“We reached a stage of the working relationship where Cristiano needed new motivation and a team that would play for him. When he finds a team like that, he can always be decisive, as he was at Juve too,” Chiellini said.
Ronaldo has again been accused of contributing little to the defensive phase on his return to Manchester United. He has particularly come under scrutiny for failing to press from the front, presumably allowing opposing teams to build attacks from the back with ease.