On Friday, June 12, was one of those days Cristiano Ronaldo would not want to forget in a hurry as he lost a penalty kick in the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-finals. It was the first match in Italy in three months after the coronavirus pandemic forced football to a halt in the country since March.
Juventus welcomed AC Milan to Turin for what fans expected to be a straight win for the host but ended up being a huge struggle. Ronaldo would have finished the game for Juventus in the 16th minute with the spot-kick but ended up landing it off target. The team had to scale through by depending on the 1-1 draw they recorded in the first-leg in San Siro, days before the pandemic halted the game.
When a player like Cristiano Ronaldo misses a penalty, it is always a big deal because he is seen by many as the greatest of all time who should be too perfect to miss a spot-kick even with his eyes closed.
Yet it happened and he couldn’t redeem himself throughout the match by scoring a goal despite the fact that AC Millan played a man down.
Since the match ended, some fans across the world have made Ronaldo a subject of ridicule for losing a penalty kick but they forgot to mention that he was the one that scored the penalty kick the club used to equalise in the first leg.
In defends of Ronaldo’s miss, the manager of Juventus, Maurizio Sarri believes that Ronaldo was just unlucky on the night.
He said: “I asked Ronaldo to take a more central role, he was pleased to try it out and he played the game he needed to at this moment.
“He probably isn’t accustomed to missing a penalty, so hitting the inside of the post-it could go anywhere and he was unlucky.
“I don’t think to play him a few metres more one way or another is going to make a huge difference to such a strong player. Everyone had a strong opening 30 minutes and then faded away.”
Ronaldo is not the greatest
While his teammate Leonardo Bonucci stressed that anyone can miss a penalty. He acknowledged that “even the greatest miss” but it was not clear who he was referring to as the greatest that misses penalty too. Could it be the perceived rival of the Portuguese star, Lionel Messi, who has also missed a couple of penalties?
Beside the Penalty miss, Bonucci wants the world to know that Ronaldo is a very important player to Juventus who can keep the defence of the opponents under pressure even when he is not scoring.
“Cristiano is always important for us”, he told Rai Sport. “He increases the pressure on opponents’ defenders. “He was unfortunate today and [Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi] Donnarumma did well. We’ll see a great Juventus and a great Ronaldo again.
“The important thing was to qualify so we could play in Rome for our first objective of the season.”
The final of the tournament will take place on the 17th of June 2020 in the Stadio Olimpico, Rome. Juventus will face Napoli in the final.