Cristiano Ronaldo was left out of Juventus’ final Serie A game against Bologna as he has played too much recently, according to the club’s Chief Football Officer Fabio Paratici.
I Bianconeri go into the match in fifth and, depending on the results of Milan and Napoli, they could miss out on a place in the Champions League next season. If all three sides win, then Juventus are guaranteed to finish outside the top four.
Due to the magnitude of the game a few eyebrows were raised when Ronaldo was left out of Andrea Pirlo’s starting XI. The forward has been criticised in some quarters this season but he will still finish as Serie A top scorer, barring a miraculous final day from one of his challengers.
Explaining his omission to Sky Sport Italia (via Fabrizio Romano), Paratici said: “Cristiano Ronaldo is not injured. We’ve played a lot of games in the last few days, Wednesday was a very expensive match. Together with Pirlo, we’ve decided that he’s not starting tonight. But he’s available.”
Over the past eight days Ronaldo played 70 minutes of his side’s 3-2 win over Inter as well as the entirety of their Coppa Italia final triumph against Atalanta. Over the course of the season he has been a near ever present in the Juventus side as well, despite being 36-years-old.
The decision to drop him from the side is a bold one. If it does not pay off, Pirlo could be sacked with the legendary midfielder enduring a tough first season in management. Ronaldo’s future is also uncertain.
Although he has one year left on his deal, if Juventus fail to get into the Champions League he will most likely want to leave. Former club Manchester United are among those who have been linked with a sensational swoop.