SOCCER

Ronaldo's triumphant return leaves Juventus unprotected

Cristiano Ronaldo scored 101 goals in 134 games for Juventus before leaving in August, but Juan Cuadrado has insisted no player is bigger than the club.

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Juventus working to ensure Ronaldo's absence is not felt – Cuadrado

Juventus' players are working to ensure that Cristiano Ronaldo's absence is not felt following the forward's recent move to Manchester United, according to Juan Cuadrado.

Ronaldo scored 101 goals in 134 appearances during a three-year stay at the Allianz Stadium, which surprisingly came to an end in August when he returned to United.

Only Kylian Mbappe (111), Lionel Messi (120) and Robert Lewandowski (143) scored more goals than Ronaldo in all competitions across that period from Europe's top five leagues.

A triumphant comeback, leave Juventus unprotected

The Portugal captain has made a great start to his second spell at Old Trafford with five goals in as many matches, including a late winner against Villarreal in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Juventus, meanwhile, have made a slow start to their Serie A campaign and sit 10th after six matches, albeit having won their last two games in the competition.

While acknowledging Ronaldo's importance to the side over the past few years, Cuadrado insists no player can be considered bigger than Juventus. 

"We know his class and what he represented for us," Cuadrado told La Stampa. "But the most important thing is Juventus. We are working to avoid his absence being felt."

Cuadrado to expect a close game against Torino

Juve beat Chelsea 1-0 in the Champions League in midweek to make it three victories on the spin in all competitions ahead of Saturday's Derby Della Mole showdown with Torino.

Cuadrado has been involved in four goals in his past three Serie A games against Torino – scoring one and providing three assists – for a tally that is more than any other Juve player since 2020.

Juve has lost only one of their last 30 league meetings with their city rivals – a 2-1 defeat in April 2015 – but Cuadrado is expecting a tough contest this weekend.

"I see them as a more solid team than in the past," Cuadrado said. "It will be a special challenge for us and the fans. A battle.

"But at this moment, any match for us would be important. We are behind where we want to be in terms of points, but there are many more matches to play.

"We believe in ourselves. It is in our DNA to fight until the end."

Cuadrado