Cristiano Ronaldo has been taking all the free-kicks for the sides he has featured for but at Juventus, things seem to be changing for the Portuguese superstar.
During his time at Manchester United and his former years at Real Madrid, Ronaldo was the designated free-kick taker. And rightly so, as his free-kick record was prolific.
However, in his last three seasons with Los Blancos, Ronaldo could convert only two free-kicks in La Liga. Despite that, soon after arriving in Turin, Ronaldo took up the free-kick duties on him, sidelining the likes of Paulo Dybala and Miralem Pjanic.
The Dybala-Pjanic duo had converted a total of 16 free-kicks in the last three Serie A seasons, which is a more than an impressive record by any means. It was, thus, unfair on the both of them when the Portuguese replaced them as the free-kick taker for Juventus.
“When Ronaldo arrived, I wrote to Pjanic in our chatroom: ‘Sorry Mire, but I think you won’t be taking many free-kicks this year’,” Dybala had jokingly suggested recently.
However, manager Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed that Ronaldo wouldn’t be the full-time free-kick taker for Juve. Instead, he will only line up for free-kicks from long range while left-footed Dybala and right-footed Pjanic will be handling the close range ones – Dybala from the right and Pjanic from the left side.
“Ronaldo is a smart guy, he knows Pjanic and Dybala are excellent free-kick takers and they are going to take those close to the area,” Allegri said.
“When there are free kicks from far away, Ronaldo can kick them but we’ve decided that Dybala and Pjanic will take the set pieces close to the area.”