The 35-year-old will be absent this weekend as part of a pre-planned rest break following a particularly hectic November for club and country
Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo will miss Saturday’s Serie A clash with Benevento after Andrea Pirlo elected to rest the veteran Portuguese following a busy international break and return to club action.
The 35-year-old skippered all three of his country’s matches across a seven-day spell in mid-November, as they missed out on the chance to notch up a second consecutive Nations League final appearance following defeat against world champions France.
Ronaldo has also played in both of Juve’s subsequent games since the club season resumed, bagging a brace in their top-flight victory over Cagliari while helping them to a 2-1 victory against Ferencvaros in the Champions League on Tuesday to seal their spot in the last 16.
Having played eight matches since the start of the month, he will play no part in the Bianconeri’s trip to Stadio Ciro Vigorito on Saturday, with Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala named in the travelling party as attacking options.
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Speaking on the news, manager Pirlo confirmed that there were no injury concerns keeping Ronaldo out of the equation and that his absence was a pre-planned decision due to the heavy fixture crush across the opening weeks of the new season.
“Cristiano Ronaldo will take an agreed rest session because he was a bit tired after so many games,” the 41-year-old told Juventus TV. “It was planned that he would not come to Benevento.”
Pirlo may however be able to welcome back Leonardo Bonucci following his absence in midweek, which would provide a boost to the heart of Juve’s defence with Giorgio Chiellini still sidelined.
Pirlo, who succeeded Maurizio Sarri in the top job earlier this year, may also have an eye on next week’s European tie with Dynamo Kiev in his choice to leave Ronaldo rested.
They will require victory against the Ukrainian outfit and then a three-point haul against Barcelona if they are to finish atop Group G and receive a more favourable draw heading into the knockout stages.
Though they remain unbeaten in Serie A, Juve’s four draws in eight games mean they currently trail leaders AC Milan by four points as they look to claim another record-extending Scudetto title.