Nobody really knows how much clout Cristiano Ronaldo has held behind the scenes in his career, but there’s a general rule which states if he’s fit then he starts and he plays the whole game.
There was a mess last season when Maurizio Sarri took him off during a game and Ronaldo refused to shake his hand and took an almighty tantrum, so it takes a manager who’s comfortable in his position to leave him out.
It’s also worth noting that Ronaldo is 36 years old so he’ll probably need a rest every now and then, so it’s interesting to see that Goal have reported that Pirlo is leaving him out for the Benevento game this weekend.
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The insist that there’s no injuries and no problems with Ronaldo at all, it’s simply a chance to let him rest and ensure that he doesn’t burn out.
It makes total sense because he’s playing a packed schedule and even he will need a chance to recover every now and then, but this would also be a great chance for him to score a few goals so you have to think this wasn’t his idea.
It will inevitably spark some speculation about his future at the club but there’s no sign of any dissentient from the Ronaldo camp just now, but this should give us a good idea of what Pirlo’s Juve will look like once Ronaldo moves on.