‘Some players suffer with Cristiano; Dybala is one of them’ | The Daily Star
06:55 PM, April 23, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:58 PM, April 23, 2019

‘Some players suffer with Cristiano; Dybala is one of them’

Juventus legend Marco Tardelli has stated that whilst Cristiano Ronaldo is important in maintaining the Bianconeri's winning mentality, there are some members of the squad who are affected in a negative way by his presence.

The Turin giants won their eighth consecutive Serie A title three days ago with a victory over Fiorentina as Cristiano became the first player to win the English Premier League, La Liga and the Serie A. However, Argentine forward Paulo Dybala’s influence on the pitch, at least in terms of goal-scoring has declined. Dybala scored 26 goals last season 46 appearances but this season his return is just 10 goals in 39 matches. Cristiano by that measure has scored 26 in 39 matches this season.

Dybala was Juventus’s top star before Ronaldo’s arrival last season. When Juventus needed goals, they looked to him to either create or score. In the Champions League second leg quarterfinal tie against Ajax, the Argentine was taken off at half time. His importance had diminished either due to lack of form or his role in the side.

"Juventus need to work on the management of the squad," Tardelli told Rai Sport. "Cristiano Ronaldo may have played too much this year, but he is the one who imposes [the team's attitude].

"Against Ajax [in the Champions League], he could have done even more. I think some players give less with Ronaldo; they suffer with him unconsciously. Dybala is one of them,” he said.

Dybala has gone missing in big games, with coach Massimiliano Allegri often preferring Federico Bernardeschi or Moise Kean over the Argentine. There have also been reports in the Italian media that the Serie A champions are planning Dybala’s exit.

"The thing that most surprised me about Cristiano is the intensity with which he trains, but also his hunger for victory," Dybala had told Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra following Ronaldo’s arrival.

"Clearly, with him in the side the others don’t get as many shots as they used to, but the important thing is for the team to win,” the Argentine added.

Ronaldo’s absence at former club Real Madrid has also seen a rise in Karim Benzema’s goal count. Last season the Frenchman struck just 12 goals in 47 appearances but this season after Cristiano’s departure, he has scored 30 times for Real in 50 appearances.

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