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Cristiano Ronaldo ‘nonetheless a Juventus participant,’ insists Andrea Pirlo before crunch finale

By AFP 18m in the past

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MILAN – Cristiano Ronaldo stays very a lot a Juventus participant, coach Andrea Pirlo insisted Saturday with the Portuguese star’s future doubtful going into the ultimate sport of the season.

Juve’s Champions League hopes are not of their palms as they head for Eleventh-placed Bologna needing a win and hoping rivals Napoli and AC Milan slip up.

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However, Pirlo doesn’t imagine that the sport will probably be Ronaldo’s remaining one with the membership in the event that they fail to qualify for elite European soccer.

“No, I see him still in the ‘Bianconero’ jersey and focused,” Pirlo informed a pre-match press convention.

“He proved it the other night, sacrificing himself because he wanted to win the Coppa Italia.

“I see him centered on tomorrow, then there’s time to debate the remaining.”

Juve’s nine-year title run was ended by Inter Milan and failure to qualify for the Champions League would be a financial blow.

The competition is worth on average 80 million euros ($94 million) a season to teams.

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Failure to qualify would make Ronaldo’s annual salary of 31 million euros a year difficult to sustain.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was recruited in 2018 from Real Madrid to help Juventus win the title after two lost finals in 2015 and 2017.

The 36-year-old is the top scorer in the competition with 134 goals.

In the meantime, Ronaldo is set to become the first player to finish the season top scorer in three major leagues — England, Spain, and Italy.

He has scored 28 goals so far, six more than Inter’s Romelu Lukaku and Atalanta’s Luis Muriel.

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Meanwhile Pirlo also insisted the match would not decide his own future after an erratic first season, during which he won two trophies.

“I do not suppose the membership will resolve my future primarily based on what occurs tomorrow,” said the 42-year-old.

“They have an concept of what has labored and what has not labored this season. You do not make choices simply by taking a look at one final sport.”

But he warned: “We actually imagine in it, we had been lifeless after Milan (defeat) however the outcomes, ours and people of others, allowed us to get again on their toes.”

AFP

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