Cristiano Ronaldo is “not angry” despite failing to score from close range in Juventus’ 2-0 victory over Lazio in Turin on Saturday, his first home match with his new club.
Ronaldo seemed certain to open his Serie A account in the 75th minute at the Allianz Stadium. Joao Cancelo rolled the ball across to his compatriot but goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha did just enough to stop him from tapping in from four metres, instead it ricocheted off Ronaldo’s feet and fell to Mario Mandzukic to score into an empty net.
Upon this miss, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner offered a wry smile before throwing his hands up in the air, and Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri promised that the Portuguese star was not upset after the miss.
“He is not angry at all, he smiled because these things happen,” Allegri said after the match.
Just as it was on Ronaldo’s debut last week, when Juventus won 3-2 at Chievo Verona, it was down to his teammates to fire the Bianconeri to victory, with Miralem Pjanic also netting as the seven-time defending champions downed Lazio.
“It’s only two weeks that he’s with us,” Allegri said of Ronaldo’s adaptation. “He’s intelligent and understands that Italian football is different to that in Spain. Today he played well also in defense, everyone is waiting for his first goal. I’m happy with how he’s fitting in, he is a very humble lad.”
Ronaldo left Real Madrid in the offseason in a Serie A record €112 million (then $132m) deal but has yet to fully adapt to Italian football.
His teammates aren’t too concerned, however.
“He is the best player in the world. For us it is something exceptional, we are very happy to play with him,” Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi said. “We’re going to help him score goals because it is in his DNA.
“We know that if he scores goals it will help us win more matches. Of course, we will learn from his game. Juventus is another culture. For him, for us, to understand his game. He is someone who goes forward very quickly, who is very mobile, we need to understand each other better.
“We will improve in that sense and I know he will score an enormous amount of goals.”