Buffon suggests Cristiano Ronaldo hurt Juventus team spirit

Buffon suggests Cristiano Ronaldo hurt Juventus team spirit

Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon has admitted that the team's DNA was 'lost' following Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival in 2018.

Ronaldo's €100 million transfer from Real Madrid was supposed to transform Juventus into all-powerful European giants, but while he won two Serie A titles in three years, he failed to inspire anything close to Champions League success.

Buffon, who left Juventus in 2018 but returned 12 months later to play alongside Ronaldo, has now admitted that he felt Ronaldo's arrival resulted in a change in culture at the Allianz Stadium that harmed the rest of the squad.

"Juventus had the chance to win the Champions League the first year he arrived, which was the year I was at Paris Saint-Germain, and I couldn’t figure out what happened," he told TUDN.

“When I returned, I worked with Ronaldo for two years and we did well together, but I think Juventus lost that DNA of being a team.

“We reached the Champions League final in 2017 because we were a side full of experience, but above all, we were a single unit and there was this competition for places within the group that was very strong. We lost that with Ronaldo.”

Centre-back Leonardo Bonucci has never shied away from discussing the serious affect Ronaldo's signing had on the team, conceding in September that the squad's desire to work as hard for one another had diminished.

Giorgio Chiellini, Bonucci's partner in crime, told DAZN shortly afterwards that Juventus no longer felt capable of giving their all for Ronaldo.

"We had arrived at a point in our relationship where Cristiano needed new goals and a team that would play for him, because when he finds a team like that he is decisive," he said.

"Here at Juventus, a program of rejuvenation and restarting was born. If Ronaldo had stayed, he would have been an added value, but it is normal that he thought more about the present than the future.

“Ronaldo left on August 28, it would have been better for us if he had left earlier. We paid something for it, a little bit of a shock, we paid something for it in terms of points. If he had left earlier we would have had time to prepare better.”

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