Leonardo Bonucci criticizes dressing room atmosphere during Ronaldo era at Juventus
Juventus veteran and long-time Italian international Leonardo Bonucci unloaded a scathing assessment of the Bianconeri dressing during the Cristiano Ronaldo era in Turin.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s impact at Juventus condemned in damning Leonardo Bonucci claimshttps://t.co/q7rNxqahG3 pic.twitter.com/AcAGPZ20iQ
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) September 29, 2021
When speaking with the Athletic (cited by the Mirror), Bonucci claimed that the presence of Ronaldo in the dressing room and the star-power that he carried with him changed the mental dynamic within the team.
“This was the thing, the idea that one player, even the best in the world, could guarantee Juventus victory.
Cristiano’s presence had a big influence on us. Just training with him gave us something extra but subconsciously players started to think his presence alone was enough to win games.
We began to fall a little short in our daily work, the humility, the sacrifice, the desire to be there for your team-mate day after day. Over the last few years, I think you could see that.
Bonucci continued, discussing the balance that was eventually struck between Ronaldo and the collective group as the club went on to Coppa Italia success despite failing to win their 10th consecutive Scudetto;
“But Cristiano needed the team as much as we needed him.
There had to be a trade-off because it’s the team that lifts the individual even if the individual is the best player on the planet.”
One-man wrecking crew’s rarely guarantee success
The prime example of one player struggling to life a side above every adversary comes from none other than the biggest rival of Ronaldo in Lionel Messi.
Long burdened with the task of bringing Argentina World Cup glory as he was the anointed successor to the late great Diego Maradona, Messi failed at every time of asking across his international career until La Albiceleste lifted their first major trophy since 1993 when they defeated fierce rivals Brazil in the 2021 Copa America final.
But the likes of Thierry Henry, Wayne Rooney, David Villa, Samuel Eto’o, Sergio Agüero, Robert Lewandowski, and Luis Suarez did not enjoy the great deal of success they achieved at club level without lifting up those around them.
Henry would not have been the same player for Arsenal without Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp, nor Rooney without David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Ryan Giggs.
While it is not a slight on Ronaldo for players putting faith in his incredible ability as a footballer, the onus should remain on the best and brightest of the game to elevate their club mates rather than revel in the adoration.
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