Sarri tells Juventus players to adapt to game-changer Ronaldo

Juventus players will need to learn to play to Cristiano Ronaldo's strengths in the forthcoming campaign, according to Maurizio Sarri.

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo   -  Getty Images

Maurizio Sarri has told his Juventus squad it must adapt to Cristiano Ronaldo's game after hailing him as the "player who makes the difference".

The Portugal international plundered 28 goals in his debut campaign for the Bianconeri following his move from Real Madrid, guiding them to an eighth successive Serie A title.

He picked up where he left off in Juve's first pre-season game ahead of the 2019-20 season on Sunday, scoring a typically clinical goal in his side's 3-2 International Champions Cup (ICC) defeat to Tottenham.

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Speaking ahead of an ICC clash against Italian rival Inter on Wednesday, head coach Sarri made it clear Ronaldo will be the focal point of his side in the forthcoming campaign.

"He will be the player who will make the difference for us so the other 10 will have to adapt to him," Sarri told a media conference.

"During this tour he will play mostly as a left offensive striker, knowing very well he likes to move more central next to the other striker.

"As a team we have to be quick to adapt to his movements since he is capable of making the difference and he will do it for sure. In the first game, he scored and had a further couple of chances."

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The defeat to Tottenham also saw the debut of Matthijs de Ligt, the new signing from Ajax who arrived last week for an initial fee of €75million.

Sarri described the 19-year-old as a "phenomenal prospect" but would not be drawn on whether he will command an immediate place in his preferred starting XI.

"De Ligt is a phenomenal prospect," Sarri said. "He is a 19-year-old kid who has already been captain in an important club like Ajax so he is an important prospect.

"I don’t know whether he will stay on the bench or not. If not, on the bench there will be other important defenders like [Leonardo] Bonucci, [Giorgio] Chiellini and [Daniele] Rugani."