15:13 GMT18 January 2021
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    The 35-year-old was absent on the pitch during the game against Serie A rookies Benevento last weekend. To the surprise of sports pundits, the game ended in a draw, which also prompted criticism of Juve’s coach Andrea Pirlo.

    Juventus players are unhappy about the special treatment Cristiano Ronaldo receives, the Daily Mirror wrote, citing a report from Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. According to the newspaper, the squad is frustrated that the Portuguese superstar has "special rights" that reportedly allow him to choose which games to play in and which to skip.

    Ronaldo’s absence on the pitch has drastically affected the club’s performance this season as Juve has won only one match without the 35-year-old. The club lacks Ronaldo’s goal-scoring abilities. The Portuguese player netted 8 goals in 9 games in Serie A, more than the rest of Juventus combined.

    According to Corriere della Sera, Juventus players are also unhappy with coach Andrea Pirlo, specifically his lack of communication. The newspaper writes that the acclaimed player doesn’t talk much about tactics with the squad, with most of the work being done by assistant coach Igor Tudor. Players like Paulo Dybala and Dejan Kulusevski still don’t understand what Pirlo wants from them on the pitch, Corriere della Sera writes, noting that the honeymoon between the manager and the squad is over.

    Juventus is ranked fourth and trails six points behind leaders Milan. Although the Old Lady (moniker of the club) is no stranger to catching up, many players reportedly believe that Juve won't be able to win Serie A, let alone UEFA’s Champions League, under Pirlo, whose managerial track record includes only the reserve team of Juventus.

    What does the famous player think about the club’s performance? Pirlo says he is not concerned by defeats and losses and believes it is a good sign that critics are unhappy.

    "All the criticism? Good sign, it means we scare others. I’m not totally satisfied, I would have liked more continuity with the results. This is a young team managed by someone at his first experience. The players improve day by day and they follow me, that is important", he said following the game against Benevento, which ended in a draw.


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