Maurizio Sarri says his relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo “is good” as Juventus prepare to face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
Ronaldo, 34, was substituted in consecutive games before the international break, is unsure if the forward will be fit to face Atletico, however, he was in full flow over the international break finding the net multiple times
“If a player who has won so much is angry about being substituted, he still has a lot of motivation,” said Sarri.
Juventus have already qualified for the Champions League knockout stages.
Ronaldo was pulled by Sarri in the 1-0 win over AC Milan in Serie A, and also in the Champions League victory away to Lokomotiv Moscow which locked in their place in the last 16 of the competition.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner played the full 90 minutes and scored his 99th goal for Portugal while on international duty in a 2-0 win over Luxembourg that sealed his country’s place at Euro 2020.
Ronaldo also netted a hat-trick and played 83 minutes in Portugal’s 6-0 thrashing of Lithuania 3 days earlier.
The Portugal captain was rested due to a knee problem on his return on Saturday as Juventus beat Atalanta 3-1 to maintain their place at the top of the Italian league.
“Cristiano trained with his team-mates [on Sunday],” said Sarri.
“It seems that his condition is improving but we still have to evaluate.
“The positive thing is he was able to play throughout the training session.”
Sarri also said Juventus need to check on the fitness of Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt, who suffered a dislocated shoulder and forward Federico Bernardeschi, who bruised his chest before the game with Atlético.
Juventus sit in first and are three points ahead of second-placed Atlético Madrid in Group D with two games to spare and victory over Diego Simeone’s side would ensure they top the group.
Atlético require a victory at the Allianz Stadium to guarantee their place alongside Juventus in the knockout stages.
By Accelerate Sports