Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo will not be involved in Juventus’ Serie A clash with Genoa on Sunday.
The Portuguese forward produced a show-stopping display to lead the Bianconeri past Atletico Madrid and into the quarter finals of the Champions League in midweek.
Ronaldo‘s hat-trick in Turin was enough to overturn a two-goal deficit from the first leg, as the iconic forward once again proved to be the star of the show in Europe’s elite competition. Ahead of Sunday’s game, Allegri confirmed via Juventus‘ official Twitter account: “Cristiano needed to rest and therefore he will not come to Genoa.”
With Ronaldo’s heroics on Tuesday having sealed Juventus’ progression to the next stage of the Champions League, attention now turns to the champions’ bid to retain their Serie A crown. Allegri’s side have an 18-point cushion at the top of the league heading into Sunday’s game.
“Only 5 wins are missing to claim the Scudetto mathematically,” the Juve boss added. “Tomorrow it will be a difficult game. Genoa, at home, is a tough opponent and we have to have the right performance. In the first leg, we dropped points against them.”
Despite the importance of Sunday’s clash, with the chance to further strengthen Juve’s grasp on the title, Allegri also confirmed that a number of other star names would be rested against Genoa.
“It’s probable that tomorrow Blaise Matuidi and Giorgio Chiellini will be rested,” Allegri confirmed.
“On Tuesday, Mario Mandzukic was fundamental with his physicality. He had a great game and he sacrificed a lot. Paulo Dybala is returning to form. Tomorrow, Mattia Perin will play in goal.
Frenkie de Jong, Ajax midfielder: “When I was around 10–12 years old, Cristiano Ronaldo was already one of the best players in the world. So it is nice that I will now face him for real.”#UCLdraw pic.twitter.com/6ckkmTeAlv
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 15, 2019
“Right now the balance in the squad is good. We did something special on Tuesday and the team spirit is positive.”
Allegri also looked ahead to the quarter finals of the Champions League, with Juventus having drawn Ajax as their opponents in the next round after the Eredivisie side conquered champions Real Madrid in the last 16.
“Ajax is a fast team with players of great quality, who are difficult to come up against. They will be different games in respect to Atletico. It’s a mistake to think we are already in the semi final.”