What is Cristiano Ronaldo like to manage? Former Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo explains
- Portuguese icon has starred across Europe
- Now plying his trade in the Middle East
- Always wants to be the best
WHAT HAPPENED? The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is currently on the books of Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Nassr – with four goals recorded in his latest outing for them – but has spent much of his career representing some of the biggest sides in world football. Ronaldo has turned out for Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juve – breaking plenty of records along the way – and Pirlo says the Portuguese icon is a pleasure to work with due to his relentless pursuit of perfection.
WHAT THEY SAID: Pirlo, who managed Ronaldo in Turin between August 2020 and May 2021, has told the Daily Mail of what it was like to coach the all-time great: “For me it was easy to work with him. He was a good guy, very professional. He wanted to play every game, to score every game. We didn't have a problem but football changes very quickly. Age also. Maybe he had a problem with another team, but for me it was a good experience.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: While Ronaldo caused no issues in Italy, he was released by Manchester United in November 2022 after taking aim at the club in an explosive interview. Pirlo has previously told Diretta of the 38-year-old forcing his way out of Old Trafford: “I think Ronaldo had been waiting for a long time to give that interview. He’d prepared everything beforehand. Ronaldo has always had pressure on him and always will, that’s not an issue for him. I don’t think it put pressure on the Portugal squad either, because even if he hadn’t given that interview, the media still would’ve asked him questions about Manchester United during the World Cup. I think this is why he decided to get it out of the way, like pulling out a tooth that is wobbly, and now he’ll be even more fired up than before.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Ronaldo signed football’s most lucrative contract when moving to the Middle East and, after making a slow start to his time with Al-Nassr, is now seemingly up to full speed after passing the 500-goal mark over the course of his remarkable club career.