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Juventus lost their DNA after Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival, says Gianluigi Buffon

Manchester United's striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring against Norwich. Photo: Daniel Leal/AFP

Manchester United's striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring against Norwich. Photo: Daniel Leal/AFP

Published Dec 24, 2021

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Juventus great Gianluigi Buffon said Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival at the club in 2018 ultimately led to them losing their "DNA of being a team".

Ronaldo, now back at Manchester United for a second spell, scored 101 goals in 135 appearances for Juventus and won Serie A twice but the club did not progress beyond the Champions League quarter-final stage during his three years there.

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Buffon returned to his first club Parma in June after nearly two decades at Juventus -- he spent the 2018-19 season at Paris St Germain -- where he won 10 Serie A titles.

"Juventus had the chance to win the Champions League the first year he arrived, which was the year I was at Paris St Germain, and I couldn't figure out what happened," Buffon told American broadcast network 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."

Juventus are fifth in Serie A, 12 points adrift of leaders Inter Milan, and host third-placed Napoli on Jan. 6.

Reuters

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