Andrea Pirlo to ‘evaluate’ Cristiano Ronaldo role after Juventus superstar shields face in wall


Cristiano Ronaldo’s blushes were spared after the Juventus forward came in for criticism for his behaviour in the wall against Parma on Wednesday night.

With Gaston Brugman standing over a free-kick, Cristiano Ronaldo not only failed to jump but shielded his face and raised a foot half-heartedly as the ball sailed over his head and into the back of the Juventus net.

Thankfully for Juventus, a brace from Alex Sandro and a Matthijs de Ligt goal earned all three points for The Old Lady.

“We made life difficult for ourselves with the opening goal, then ran a few other risks on set plays, and it’s a pity because we’d done well defending from dead ball situations this season,” manager Andrea Pirlo told Sky Sports, as translated by Football Italia.

“We did well to turn it around and the win was important for our confidence, as we played well and needed to take home the three points.

“We have instinctive players, but must also give them directions on the positions to hold. They did it better in the second half than the first, especially with the body positioning to receive the ball. We were too distant in the first half and that slowed down the passing movement.

“Maybe we don’t maintain the same concentration and pace from match to match. Sometimes we are a little slow, we hold onto the ball, allow the opposition to occupy the space and it all grinds to a halt.”

Because of his high profile, mistakes from Ronaldo are always going to prompt more headlines than most players but it’s not the first time that the Portuguese superstar has been slammed for his defending in the wall.

Last month, Juventus crashed out of the Champions League and Ronaldo came in for criticism for turning his back on the ball that flew under the wall and sent Porto into the quarter-finals.

Former Juventus manager Fabio Capello slammed Ronaldo for the “unforgivable” error against Porto and after the latest questionable act in the wall, Pirlo is set to consider whether or not to change Ronaldo’s role when defending free-kicks.

“Unfortunately, these things happen, but we’ll evaluate it over the next few days,” Pirlo said.

Juventus find themselves in third place in Serie A, with Inter Milan looking destined to break Juve’s streak of winning the Italian league.

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