The arrival of a player of such calibre as Cristiano Ronaldo is always expected to have a positive effect on any football squad. However, Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon thinks that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's arrival in 2018 did the exact opposite for his beloved Juventus, causing the team to "lose their DNA."
It may be remembered that Ronaldo made the shock move from Real Madrid to Juventus just weeks after winning a third consecutive UEFA Champions League trophy with Los Blancos. After dominating the Serie A for almost a decade, the Turin side were keen on recruiting Ronaldo to help them achieve European glory.
However, the opposite happened. After reaching the Champions League final in 2017, they were not able to get past the quarter-finals in all three seasons that Ronaldo spent with the club. Ironically, this is not a result of Ronaldo losing his touch. In fact, he remained at the top of his game, scoring 101 goals in 135 appearances for Juventus.
"Juventus had the chance to win the Champions League the first year he arrived, which was the year I was at Paris St Germain, and I couldn't figure out what happened," Buffon said, in an interview quoted by AS. "When I returned, I worked with Ronaldo for two years and we did well together, but I think Juventus lost that DNA of being a team," he claimed.
Many criticised how much the club started to revolve around Ronaldo, leading to them lose a nine-year winning streak in the Serie A on top of failing to win the Champions League.
"We reached the Champions League final in 2017 because we were a side full of experience, but above all we were a single unit and there was this competition for places within the group that was very strong. We lost that with Ronaldo," added Buffon.
The Portuguese star has since returned to Premier League side Manchester United, where he continues to impress. Meanwhile, Juventus is struggling in fifth place in the Serie A, where they are 12 points behind defending champions Inter Milan.