September 28, 2021

Ronaldo handed pre-Champions League rest by Juventus as Sarri leaves him out of Roma clash

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With the Bianconeri readying themselves for a European outing against Lyon, a Portuguese superstar will not grace the final round of Serie A fixtures

Cristiano Ronaldo has been left out of Juventus’ squad for their final Serie A game of the season against Roma, with the Portuguese being rested ahead of Champions League duty.

The Bianconeri will welcome domestic foes from the Italian capital to the Allianz Stadium on Saturday.

Maurizio Sarri’s side will be playing for little more than pride in that contest, with a ninth successive title having already been wrapped up .

With there no need to go in search of more points, the decision has been taken to take no risks on Ronaldo’s fitness.

Sarri had hinted at offering the five-time Ballon d’Or winner a break when quizzed on his plans for a meeting with Roma.

He told reporters: “We’ll assess [who will play], depending on who needs to rest and who is fit to play.

“Between tomorrow [Saturday] and next Friday there will be a big difference in terms of mentality. We’ll need to be good at recovering all energies possible.

“Tomorrow, whoever is fit will play and we’ll try to make it a day of celebration. I can see two light-hearted teams tomorrow evening, with clear heads: a beautiful game can come out of it.

“Let’s see how Cristiano feels, he’s one of the players that played the most in the entire season. With regards to Aaron Ramsey, he might be back with the team today and there are good possibilities that he plays in the Champions League.

“[Paulo] Dybala is with the medical staff, everything is proceeding well, but I don’t know when he’ll be back with the group.”

Wales international midfielder Ramsey is included in the Juve squad to face Roma, but Argentine forward Dybala remains on the sidelines with a thigh complaint.

He is considered to be a major doubt to face Lyon in the second leg of a Champions League last-16 encounter on August 8.

Ronaldo will, however, be expected to lead the charge for Sarri’s side as they seek to overturn a 1-0 deficit on home soil.

The Portugal international has, at the age of 35, taken in 45 appearances across all competitions this season, recording 35 goals.

He will not be adding to his tally of 31 in Serie A, with the path cleared for Lazio striker Ciro Immobile to wrap up the Capocannoniere crown and European Golden Shoe.