Juventus icon Gianluigi Buffon has taken Cristiano Ronaldo’s side after Sergio Brio and Alessio Tacchinardi blasted the Portuguese superstar over his move to Manchester United.
Ronaldo’s decision to swap the Allianz Arena for Old Trafford in the final stretch of the summer transfer window has caused havoc in Turin, infuriating supporters and several club legends.
Brio and Tacchinardi accused the 36-year-old of being disrespectful after cutting short his three-year stint at Juventus to return to the Premier League in a deal worth £13 million.
However, Buffon, who shared the dressing room with Ronaldo for two years, jumped in to defend his former teammate amid a wave of criticism thrown into his direction.
“I don’t think the fans should be surprised,” the veteran goalkeeper told Radio anch’io sport of Cristiano’s switch. “He has the reputation of a great professional who rightly thinks about himself a lot.
“In these three years, he has contributed with great performances and scored many goals. I don’t see anything illogical in his choice to leave – he thought a lot about it.”
Ronaldo joined Juventus in summer 2018 following a trophy-laden nine-year stint at Real Madrid as part of the club’s efforts to wrap up the Champions League trophy.
Although the Portugal captain failed to lead the Bianconeri to the top of European football, he was part of the team that won back-to-back Serie A titles and the Coppa Italia.
Prolific as ever, the quicksilver forward tallied 101 goals in 134 appearances for Juventus and finished last season as the Serie A top-scorer with 29 strikes.
However, his sudden departure has left Massimilano Allegri’s high and dry, as witnessed by the Turin heavyweights’ sluggish start to the season.
After seeing Ronaldo’s potential decisive goal in a 2-2 draw at Udinese disallowed by the VAR, Juventus suffered a horrendous 1-0 home defeat to newly-promoted Empoli last time out.
The timing of the move remains questionable, as it left the Italians with almost no time to react in the transfer window.
A shortage of high-profile options in the market forced Juventus to turn to a familiar face in the shape of Moise Kean to fill the void.
The Italian youngster returned to Turin on the deadline day from Everton and could make his second debut for the club against Napoli this weekend.
Kean has joined on a two-year loan, though the record-time Serie A champions have an obligation to buy in summer 2023 for a reported fee of €28m.
Meanwhile, fresh from shattering Ali Daei’s international record on Wednesday, Ronaldo could kick off his second spell at United against Newcastle on Saturday.
The extravagant forward notched up a quick-fire double to catapult Portugal to a 2-1 victory against the Republic of Ireland last midweek en route to reaching his 111th international goal.