Juventus boss says it was his decision to start Ronaldo on bench in Udinese draw

Allegri says it was not Ronaldo's choice as reported by Italian media on Sunday

Juventus's Cristiano Ronaldo scores a goal that was later disallowed during the Serie A soccer match with Udinese at the Dacia Arena in Udine, Italy, on Sunday. AP
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Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said it was his decision to leave Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench at the start of his side's 2-2 draw at Udinese, and not the player's as reported by Italian media on Sunday.

Sky Italia said that Ronaldo asked to be on the bench for Juve's Serie A season opener in Udine, to preserve his fitness as he looks to move away from the club.

The Portuguese forward came off the bench in the 60th minute to almost snatch a dramatic stoppage-time winner, only for his bullet header to be ruled out for offside after a lengthy VAR review.

"Ronaldo is feeling well. I had talked to him before the game, telling him he would start on the bench," Allegri told DAZN.

"He made himself available. He did well when he entered the pitch."

Juve looked like marking Allegri's first match back in charge of the Turin side with victory after early goals from Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado put them in control.

But two errors from goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, the second one especially glaring as he inexplicably gave away the ball, let the hosts back in, as a Roberto Pereyra penalty and a Gerard Deulofeu goal gave Udinese a point.

"We played a good game," Allegri said. "We should have done better in the second half where we were unable to manage unexpected events. This must serve as a lesson to us.

"We lost too many balls in the middle of the park in the second half. Perhaps we were a little tired.

"Still, you can't concede these kinds of goals. We defended well before that. We hadn't conceded a shot on target."

Updated: August 22, 2021, 10:21 PM