Reports emerged before Juve’s first Serie A game of the season that Ronaldo had requested to be left on the bench amid continued speculation around his future in Italy
Ronaldo was indeed left on the bench for the opening day match at Stadio Friuli, though at first it appeared Juve would be fine without him.
Paulo Dybala put the Old Lady ahead after just three minutes, before Juan Cuadrado doubled their lead 20 minutes later.
Things began to unravel for Allegri’s men after half-time though, with Wojciech Szczęsny spilling a shot and giving away a penalty six minutes into the second-half.
Roberto Pereyra stepped up to send the Juve keeper the wrong way and cut his former club’s lead in half.
In response, Allegri made a triple substitution, bringing on Ronaldo, Dejan Kulusevski and Georgio Chiellini.
But the situation only got worse for the Italian giants when Szczesny made another costly error to gift former Watford star Gerard Deulofeu a simple finish for the equaliser.
Allegri sent on new signing Manuel Locatelli at the death and he nearly set up Ronaldo to score what would surely have been the winner deep into stoppage time.
The midfielder found the 36-year-old with a cross, which Ronaldo headed in past Marco Silverstri, but the goal was ruled out by the Video Assistant Referee for offside.
It was a situation Ronaldo reportedly did not want to find himself in, with Sky Sport Italia stating that he was benched not because of a “technical choice” but rather a “specific request from the player himself”.
They added that the reason behind it could be transfer related, with Ronaldo’s future in Italy still uncertain after he entered the final year of his contract.
Juventus vice-president Pavel Nedved quickly attempted to play down the speculation that he would be departing this summer.
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“We’ve decided together with Ronaldo. It’s normal. Ronaldo will 100% stay,” Nedved told DAZN.
“Do not look for sensational things when there aren’t any. It was a joint decision with the coach because we’re at the start of the season and it is normal that he’s not fully fit.”
Allegri also attempted to smother talk that Ronaldo had requested to be left on the bench, insisting it was a decision that he had played a role in.
“ Cristiano Ronaldo is fit, yes,” the Juventus boss said.
“I was talking with him before the match and the decision was to start on the bench. I told Cristiano to get ready – he was good in the second half.”
Ronaldo appears set to leave Juventus when his contract expires next summer, with the Italian club not thought to be preparing to offer an extension.