Giorgio Chiellini says Cristiano Ronaldo joining Manchester United very late in the summer transfer window affected Juventus at the start of the season.
After Juventus beat Zenit St Petersburg 1-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday, Chiellini admitted that Ronaldo’s departure affected his team’s form at the start of the season, before claiming the Portuguese forward should have departed at the start of August.
The centre-back told DAZN: “We had reached a point in the relationship where Cristiano needed new incentives and a new team that could play for him, because when he finds such a team he is decisive.
“He has been proving it in recent months and showed it in the three years that he was with us.
“A rejuvenation restart programme grew here at Juventus. If Ronaldo had stayed, it would have been an added value and we would have gladly exploited it, but he might be thinking more about the present than the future.
“He left on August 28th, it would have been better for us if he had left earlier. It’s something we paid for, there’s a little shock in it for you and in my opinion we paid for it in terms of points.
“Had he gone away on August 1st, we would have had time to prepare better.”
Juventus appear to have overcome the shock of Ronaldo’s departure, with Massimiliano Allegri’s side picking up six straight wins in all competitions, including three wins from three in the Champions League.
Watch: Chritiano Ronaldo to be blamed for Juventus regression