Ronaldo getting frustrated as he longs for Juventus to play more like Real Madrid

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Ronaldo’s body language has unsurprisingly come under the spotlight, although anyone who has followed his career knows that, as with LeBron, this is nothing new. But this is a crucial week for Ronaldo. He was brought to Turin to win the Champions League for Juve, and they face Atletico Madrid having lost the first leg in Spain 2-0. nike

Ronaldo cut an irritated figure, spending much of the second half of Juventus’ nominal top-of-the-table clash against Napoli gesturing to his team to push up and join him in attack. At one stage he jumped in the air and threw his hands down by his side, a familiar move to anyone who watches Ronaldo, but rather than performing his trademark celebration — the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has gone three games without a goal or an assist — it was a show of frustration at how his teammates were playing.8

“Mister!” he called over to the bench in the forlorn hope that Juventus’ coach Massimiliano Allegri might change tactics and throw caution to the wind. When it didn’t happen, his lack of enthusiasm became evident in the half-hearted nature of his attempts to press the ball — more energy was spent venting his annoyance at the little service and support he received.

Napoli had been reduced to 10 men in the 25th minute after goalkeeper Alex Meret came out to challenge Ronaldo, bringing him down outside the area without making any obvious contact, and was sent off for dangerous conduct.

Miralem Pjanic stood over the free kick and curled it in, a reminder of his talent for these particular situations. The Bosnian is seventh on the all-time list for free-kick goals in Serie A — no one has scored more in his eight years in the league — but too often this season Pjanic has had to step aside and watch Ronaldo hit the wall or blast one into the stands. Emre Can doubled Juventus’ lead shortly afterwards, and, disappointingly for neutrals, the game seemed all but over.

But even a man down, Napoli repeatedly frightened Juve. Piotr Zielinski struck the post, and when Pjanic was sent off early in the second half the Partenopei dominated. They played Juventus off the park, stringing together 304 passes, 118 of which were completed in the final third. All Juventus could muster in the same sector of the field were a measly 20. The shot count told the same story: 14 to one in Napoli’s favour.