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MASSIMILIANO ALLEGRI: I DECIDED TO PUT RONALDO ON THE BENCH

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Farouq Oduola A.

It was Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri’s choice to start Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Udinese with Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench.

According to Italian media sources, Ronaldo requested to sit on the bench for Juve’s Serie A season opener against Udine, maybe to preserve his fitness as he seeks a transfer away from the club.

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After a lengthy VAR review, the Portuguese forward came off the bench in the 60th minute and almost scored a thrilling stoppage-time winner, only for his header to be ruled out for offside.

After the game, Allegri told reporters: “Ronaldo is in good spirits. I had spoken with him prior to the game and informed him that he would be starting on the bench.”

Juventus vice-president Pavel Nedved also stated that the decision was based on fitness and that the attacker would not be sold.

“We shouldn’t try to make dramatic stories out of nothing,” Nedved remarked .

“It was a joint decision with the player.  Naturally, he is not in top physical condition at the start of the season.

“At this time, the coach is attempting to pick the best lineup possible. I can assure you that Ronaldo will remain at Juventus for the rest of the season.”

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