By John Essien
Former Manchester United defender, Patrice Evra has slammed Juventus for making Cristiano Ronaldo a ‘scapegoat’ for their shortcomings during his time at the Turin club.
Despite being the most consistent performer for the club since joining from Real Madrid in 2017, the Portuguese star was subjected to a myriad of criticism.
During his three-year spell at Juve, Ronaldo won the Serie A Footballer of the Year titles, Scudetto crowns and Coppa Italia, yet the 36-year found himself cast as the villain in his final term – a role Evra says was “ridiculous” for the striker.
“Cristiano needs love and respect,” Evra told La Repubblica. “Instead, at Juve, he was becoming the scapegoat.
“The criticisms in Italy have been ridiculous and a bit hypocritical. [It was a] mistake when [Massimiliano] Allegri said: ‘Cristiano will not play all the games’. There is no need to say things in public. In any case, Cristiano’s only true love is Manchester United.”
Like Ronaldo, the Frenchman followed his time at Man Utd with a move to Italy, and spent a two-and-a-half year spell with Juve between 2014 and 2017.
Under Allegri – who has returned to the Bianconeri for a second spell this term – Evra has acknowledged the Coach’s prowess, but feels Italian football overextends itself on the biggest stages.
“He has an incredible flair,” he added. “More than [Sir Alex] Ferguson. Allegri always knows how a game will go before it starts. [But] in Italy you train too much.
“If the right balance were found, the Italian teams could often win the Champions League. Instead, it pushes everything to the extreme. For me it is a sign of insecurity.”
The Portuguese star has now returned to Old Trafford more than a decade after he wrote the first part of his legend in the Premier League and will look to lead a depleted United side to challenge for their first silverware in four years.
So far, Ronaldo has scored six goals in all competitions for the Red Devils and will hope to add to his tally when Man United take on Tottenham Hotspurs in the Premier League on Saturday.