The goal, Ronaldo’s second on the night in a 3-0 Madrid win, drew a stunned reaction from the Turin crowd, whose eventual show of respect for the striker saw the Portuguese star visibly moved – a moment that no doubt played a part in Ronaldo leaving Los Blancos for Juventus in the summer.
It’s the first time Ronaldo has won the award, with rival Lionel Messi having won in 2015 and 2016 and Ronaldo’s new Juventus teammate, Mario Mandzukic, winning last year.
Ronaldo’s goal got 197,496 votes. Dimitri Payet’s goal for Marseille against RB Leipzig in the second leg of last season’s Europa League quarterfinal came in second, with 35,558 votes, followed by Eva Navarro’s strike for Spain against Germany in the women’s U17 European championship final, which earned 23,315 votes.
The Old Lady have two wins through their first two Serie A games, but they’ve been far from dominant.
While Allegri is pleased with what Ronaldo has done so far, he feels the Portuguese will only get better with time.
“It’s been just 14 days of training all together, and I’ve had all my strikers only on the 8th of August, so they are exceeding my expectations,” Allegri said.
See Allegri’s full comments in the video below.
The wait for his first Juventus goal continues but Cristiano Ronaldo did get an assist – a rather fortuitous one at that – as Juventus completed an important victory against a stubborn Lazio in the Portugal star’s home debut on Saturday night.
The 33-year-old was full of endeavour to the very end but on this evidence his place in this side very much remains a work in progress, which is no surprise given his decade of uninterrupted service for Real Madrid.
Below we take a look a deep dive into Ronaldo’s performance against one of the best teams Serie A has to offer.
Goals – 0
Assists – 1
Shots – 5
Shots on target – 3
Passing Accuracy – 90%
Key Passes – 3
Dribbles – 2
Fouled – 3
Frustrated in the first half but afforded more freedom in the second, Ronaldo’s display was solid if not spectacular. He headed over the bar and tried a long range pop before the break but took the creative burden more upon himself from there on in.
He fizzed a few deliveries that Mario Mandzukic could probably have done better to connect with and there was one turn and long-range shot that Thomas Strakosha did well to keep out.
Strakosha parried what would have been Ronaldo’s first Juventus goal out of his path in the 75th minute, only for the ball to deflect of his heel and Mandzukic to pounce. In characteristic fashion, he threw his arms up in frustration before remembering to congratulate his strike partner …
Application – Welcome to Serie A, Cristiano. To his credit the Portugal star has swiftly found out that being a bully in the box, and occasionally drifting out to the left, does not pay dividends at Juve as much as it did back in Madrid.
Miralem Pjanic is a Toni Kroos-like stud in midfield but Blaise Matuidi, and certainly Sami Khedira, are not the equals of Madrid’s creativity department. Against a fine team like Lazio, Ronaldo became a deeper outlet in the attacking third reminiscent of his displays with Portugal, offering the ‘ball before the final ball’ while he hared into the area.
That he played more passes (30) than fellow forward Mandzukic (28) and Federico Bernardeschi (15 before subbed) tells you all you need to know.
Physicality – Of course, there is a trade off when a striker drops deep. According to Opta, Ronaldo took just one touch in the box in the first half. For a player who had forced the predatory Gonzalo Higuain out of Turin, without even mentioning the accompanying price tag, it falls well short of requirements.
He improved after the break and drove into danger zones a few more times, delivering some threatening crosses. But for a man who prides himself on maintaining the physique of a gladiator – he could at least throw a little bit of his muscle about.
Ronaldo was more dangerous against Chievo but, taking the name out of it, he was still the most threatening player on the pitch against a top Italian side, and grew in stature as the game wore on.
It is, however, becoming more evident that Ronaldo will find goals a little harder to come by in Italy given that the art of defending is far more appreciated in the country and Juventus’ midfield, while gifted, is a tier below Real’s.
RATING – 7/10