It is interesting to note that Juventus have made a number of adjustments to their system to accommodate Ronaldo. We will look at his goalscoring instinct, creative ability and the team’s 3-4-1-2 shape. We will also examine the system’s defensive shape, as well as the role of the defensive midfielders. But first, let’s look at how Juventus fit Ronaldo into it.
Ronaldo’s creative ability
Real Madrid’s ‘Macho Man’ is one of the most prolific players in world football. With a goal average of nearly two goals per game, Ronaldo is the ultimate creative force and Juventus’ most important player. However, his passing skills aren’t exactly legendary. Juve has struggled to find a system to accommodate Ronaldo, who has been in the club for three years.
When Juventus FC began their second season, their team was an overcrowded mess. Although they retained a dependable sporting director in Fabio Paratici, their midfield had glaring holes in the form of Vidal and Pogba. In order to fill these holes, Juve signed Emre Can and Blaise Matuidi. However, Juventus struggled to adapt to fit Ronaldo into their system because of their players’ individuality.
While Juventus were keen to keep their star player, the club did not want to lose their best player and Ronaldo has expressed his desire to leave Manchester United if they receive a suitable offer for him. This is why Bayern Munich have tried to stiff-arm Juventus in a bid to sign Ronaldo, but if Bayern Munich sells Lewandowski first, they could be in the running for him.
His goalscoring instinct
Despite the hefty investment made by Juventus in the past few seasons, the Portuguese has found it difficult to adjust his game in recent years. After all, the Portuguese has already scored 41 goals in La Liga and the Champions League. But what has prevented him from achieving his potential? Last season, he scored three times against Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals, including an overhead kick which prompted Juventus fans to stand in Turin.
When he played for Real Madrid, Ronaldo starred for the club, scoring 19 goals in nine matches. In the Champions League final, he tormented the Old Lady. At home, the Portugal international deserved a standing ovation for his heroics. The trophy he brought back to Juventus was an amazing moment for the club, which had not won the competition since 1996. This was their first European title since 1996, and had a history of failing to reach the final, but was finally crowned in a famous victory.
Since arriving in Italy, Ronaldo has already scored 101 goals in 134 games in all competitions. The Juventus fans applauded his superhuman athletic feat, which may have been the deciding factor that prompted him to join the club. Similarly, the ovation for his infamous Champions League goal may have been the final push that helped him choose Juventus. It was also the support of his coach, Zinedine Zidane, which influenced him to join Juventus in the first place.
His passiveness in defensive phases of play
Ronaldo was a polar opposite to his more offensive teammates when he first arrived in Italy. The Portuguese international was more passive in the defensive phases and was unable to play in the same system as them. Real Madrid’s style of play was very different to Juventus’, with the Spanish side pressing more and taking more shots per game. It was the former’s passiveness that caused the team to adapt their system to fit Ronaldo. While the players on the bench were largely ineffective in their respective roles, the results were mediocre and Juventus were forced to change their playing style to adapt to the needs of Ronaldo. Eventually, Allegri was replaced by Maurizio Sarri, who is more attacking.
Although the system is largely similar, the difference between them is in the amount of energy required by the attacking players. Juventus are unable to exploit this problem by bringing in a central forward and a defensive midfielder. In such a situation, Juventus tend to commit too many players, making them vulnerable to dangerous counter-attacks. They also have problems unlocking the high press, which means the attacking players must use more energy in the defensive phase.
As a result, Juventus have resorted to using a more aggressive approach during possession phases. For instance, the left wing position is tasked with pressing opponents but only when his teammates are close to the area or can cut off their passing lanes. This means they play in inside traffic, making it easier for the opposition to close and win. The Juventus defense has also adapted to fit Ronaldo into their system because of his passiveness in defensive phases.
Juventus’ 3-4-1-2 shape
Juve have changed their 3-4-1-2 shape from a traditional 4-2-3-1 in recent years to adapt the play of Ronaldo. In possession, Juventus set up in a 4-2-3-1 shape. Their front three sat narrowly high, with Bernardeschi, Paulo Dybala, and Douglas Costa forming the attack’s focal points. The two midfielders dropped, but kept width on the opposite flank. Juventus’ 3-4-1-2 shape provided versatility in build-up phases.
Juventus’ 3-4-1-2 shape worked to their advantage. Juventus’ shape was based on width, and this allowed them to play balls out wide and try to cross into the box. Crosses aren’t the most accurate type of pass, and they rarely find their target or go in the back of the net. Chievo had many chances to score, but they were unable to convert.
When playing 3-4-1-2, Juventus’ central midfielder must control the rhythm and move constantly. He must act as the first screen between the back four and the forwards. The positional superiority Juventus enjoys from this shape will give them the ability to contain and play with Ronaldo. The three players must work together to create triangles and score in the box. A Juventus team with two forwards and one center-back will be able to win more ball.
Juve have been a top team in Europe for a few years now, but their recent success has been a result of the players who are around the same age and ability. Juve have a renowned double pivot that aids their counter-attacking ability and has the potential to create back three at will. They have players like Paulo Dybala, Aaron Ramsey, and Rodrigo Bentancur in midfield who can play all three positions.
Its 3-2 shape
The 3-2 shape allows Juventus to use a number of formations depending on their tactical needs. They have the option to use a 3-4-1-2 formation in possession to ensure numerical superiority, and to play out from the back with Szczesny. This shape consists of three defenders and two midfielders. Depending on the position of Ronaldo, the Juventus midfield can have a similar formation, but the midfield players will have much more freedom to operate.
Pirlo has done a great job of incorporating Cristiano Ronaldo into the team. He is a natural attacker who can evade defenders and the Pirlo method implies that the opponents must read the formation to counter the attack. Pirlo has also made a great job of incorporating Ronaldo’s movement and natural falls in between the lines into the team’s progressive attack. Pirlo has allowed the trequartista to open up behind other midfielders to create space.
Juventus have adapted to fit Ronaldo into the 3-2 shape because it allows the players to press forward and press defenders. While this shape allows for a dynamic massive attack, it is easier to get caught up in the tempo. Under Sarri, Torino have fewer shots per match and have improved their sharpness. They have also improved their chances of scoring, with expected goals increasing from 1.94 to 2.31.
Its decision to offload Paulo Dybala
There is a huge question mark over Juventus’ decision to offload Dybala in order to make room for Cristiano Ronaldo. The former Juventus midfielder has failed to make the grade since the arrival of the Portuguese forward. His contract expires at the end of the season, so it could well be that Juventus look to offload him in order to accommodate their new star. Juventus would make a big profit on the deal, and it would also look great on the team’s balance sheet.
While Juventus will be keen to cash in on the player’s potential, they may also be concerned that he will not live up to the club’s expectations. The 24-year-old has struggled with fitness and consistency at Juventus. However, some fans prefer to remember him as the magic number 10. After all, he scored a double against Barcelona in the last Champions League quarter-final.
While the Italian giants were keen to cash in on Dybala, they were also keen to offload a few players in order to re-stock their squad with high-wage players. For the remainder of his contract, Juventus are committed to keeping Ronaldo. While they are unlikely to offload Dybala, they could look to swap him for a player with lower wages. If the transfer is successful, it could help Juventus sell some players in order to bring Ronaldo into their system.