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Football Reporting


Ronaldo demands ‘excellence’ from Juventus in 2021 rallying call after ‘special year’ limps to a close

The Portugal star says the Bianconeri can have no excuse for their ‘poor performance’ against Fiorentina at the Allianz Stadium

Cristiano Ronaldo has issued a rallying call demanding “excellence” from Juventus in 2021 after their “special year” limped to a close on Tuesday night.

Juve’s unbeaten start to the Serie A season came to an end in emphatic fashion as they suffered a shock 3-0 defeat at home to Fiorentina in their final fixture before the winter break.

Andrea Pirlo’s side were second best throughout the 90 minutes at the Allianz Stadium, with a Dusan Vlahovic strike, an Alex Sandro own goal and a Martin Caceres effort rounding off a comfortable win for La Viola.

The Bianconeri’s task was made harder after Juan Cuadrado was sent off for a two-footed tackle with the score at 1-0, but Ronaldo insists the Italian champions can have no excuses for a defeat which leaves them seven points adrift of leaders AC Milan in the Serie A table.

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He took to social media to reflect on a turbulent 12 months which saw Juve win a ninth successive Scudetto amid the coronavirus outbreak, and promised that the team will come back stronger in the new year.

“Yesterday, with a poor performance and a result far from acceptable, we closed our scheduled games for 2020, a special year in many particular ways. Empty stadiums, COVID protocols, postponed games, long stoppages and a very tight calendar,” Ronaldo said on Instagram.

“But this is no excuse for anything. We know that we have to give more of ourselves, in order to play better and to win in a more consistent way. We are Juventus! And we simply cannot accept anything less than excellence on the pitch!

“I hope this short stoppage may help us to come back stronger and more united than ever, because the season is still far from over and in the end we believe that we will, once again, celebrate with our tiffosi.

“Believe in us, trust our team as much as we trust you, and we will deliver!

“Fino Alla Fine!”

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Juve will return to domestic action on January 3, with a home fixture against Udinese.

Pirlo’s men will then turn their attention to a must-win clash against early pace-setters Milan at San Siro three days later, with the Rossoneri now the only side left in Europe’s top five leagues yet to suffer a league defeat this term.

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