JUVENTUS

Ronaldo defended by friend Pinsoglio over Juve free-kick frustration

Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo has struggled with free-kicks over recent years but apparently scores them all in training.

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Ronaldo defended by friend Pinsoglio over Juve free-kick frustration

Cristiano Ronaldo scores free-kicks all the time in training, making his poor dead-ball returns for Juventus a mystery.

Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo has embellished his phenomenal career record with 95 goals in 123 appearances for Juve across all competitions.

However, his attempts when faced with a defensive wall leave plenty to be desired and have become a subject of mild derision.

According to Opta, Ronaldo has had 72 shots from free-kicks in Juve colours, scoring once.

His only successful free-kick came during last July's derby against Torino – his 43rd attempt.

Carlo Pinsoglio: "In training, they all go in"

"In training, they all go in," Juve's third-choice goalkeeper Carlo Pinsoglio told Tuttosport.

"Why doesn't he score them in a match? I don't know, obviously in a match it's different than in training, but I don't know. Bad luck maybe."

The unheralded Pinsoglio came through the youth ranks at Juventus but is now 31, having made the vast bulk of his career appearances across loan spells at five different club and a brief permanent switch to Vicenza.

Nevertheless, he has forged an unlikely friendship with one of the greatest footballers of all time, to the extent his close relationship with Ronaldo is mocked by team-mates.

"I have a beautiful friendship with him, my team-mates make fun of me saying that I'll go to the Euros with the Portugal staff and Cristiano," he added.

"Ronaldo is a simple guy, not a star, he's quiet, he likes to laugh and joke."