Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 November 2019

Cristiano Ronaldo happy with 'more attacking' Juventus under Maurizio Sarri

Portuguese says 'team is getting better' since Sarri took charge in the summer as Turin club prepare for Lokomotiv Moscow Champions League match

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo speaks to reporters during a press conference ahead of the match against Lokomotiv Moscow. Reuters
Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo speaks to reporters during a press conference ahead of the match against Lokomotiv Moscow. Reuters

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has given a glowing endorsement of Maurizio Sarri's impact at Juventus, saying he was happy with the "more attacking" approach the club had adopted since the Italian took charge in the summer.

Ronaldo has scored five goals in nine games for the perennial Italian champions this season, adding to his tally on Saturday with a fine strike in the 2-1 win against Bologna.

"I think the team is getting better," the Portuguese striker on the eve of Juve's Champions League Group D meeting with Lokomotiv Moscow.

"We are getting more and more confident. We are playing a different brand of football, more attacking.

"I like the way he [Sarri] wants the team to play. We are creating more opportunities, we have more confidence in ourselves, I'm happy with these changes.

"Maybe we could score a little more but I'm proud of what we are doing."

Sarri replaced Max Allegri in the Turin hot seat this summer after one season in charge at Chelsea, guiding the English club to a top-four finish in the Premier League, the final of the League Cup and winning the Europa League.

Juve are unbeaten domestically to sit top of Serie A on 22 points following seven wins and a draw that includes a 2-1 win away to closest challengers Inter Milan before the recent international break.

The Turin club are also top of Champions League Group D level on four points with Atletico Madrid, who face Bayer Leverkusen on Matchday 3.

Ronaldo is once again proving prolific for both club and country, with his goal against Bologna at the weekend the 701st of his career that edged him even further ahead of his great rival Lionel Messi.

"My role hasn't changed, perhaps I have a bit more freedom," he said.

"I am happy because, bit by bit, we are getting to where Juventus ought to be. We have a difference coach, a different system, new players. We changed in order to improve."

Last week, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner scored his 700th career goal while playing for Portugal in a losing effort away to Ukraine.

"That's already in the past. I want to move on, reach new heights to help the team. I want to play and help the team win trophies.

"Of course I am proud of the individual records but the priority is to win games for Juventus and Portugal."

Updated: October 21, 2019 06:33 PM

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