Juventus manager, Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed that it his decision to leave star striker, Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench during their 2-2 draw against Udinese in their 2021/22 Serie A opener on Sunday.
The Italian media had reported that the player himself had asked to be on the bench in order to to preserve his fitness as he looks to secure a move away from the club. Ronaldo, however, was brought in the 60th minute to almost snatch a dramatic stoppage-time winner, only for his header to be ruled out for offside after a lengthy VAR review.
Allegri for his part confirmed that the decision was his and that Ronaldo was fit and had no injury issues.
"Ronaldo is feeling well. I had talked to him before the game, telling him he would start on the bench. He made himself available, he did well when he entered the pitch," the Italian said after the game.
Ronaldo has been linked with a move away from the club in recent times, though Juventus' vice-president, Pavel Nedved has once again reiterated that they have no plans of selling the five-time Ballon d'Or award winner.
"We mustn't try to create sensational stories where there aren't any. It was a decision shared with the player. At the start of the season, naturally he is not at top fitness. The coach is trying to use the best line-up at this moment. I can absolutely confirm Ronaldo will remain at Juventus this season." he told DAZN, as quoted by Sky Sports.
It was not the perfect start for Allegri on his return as Juventus boss, and he will hope that his team register their first win of the season when they face Empoli on Saturday, 28 August.