Soccer

Bruno Fernandes slams Ronaldo critics after Juventus’ Champions League KO

Bruno Fernandes has hit back at critics of Cristiano Ronaldo after he was blamed for Juventus' shock Champions League exit.

Juventus were knocked out at the last-16 stage of the competition after failing to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit against Porto.

The Old Lady won 3-2 at the Allianz Stadium in the second-leg, but that wasn't enough as Juve went out on away goals.

Ronaldo was unable to influence the tie and drew particular criticism for his part in what proved to be the winning goal.

The 36-year-old turned his back on Porto's extra-time free-kick which booked their spot in the last-eight and sent Juve packing.

Man Utd legend Ronaldo was slated for the goal, but current Red Devils ace Fernandes has come to his countryman's defence.

He told La Gazzetta Dello Sport : “Ronaldo? Cristiano is one of the greats in the history of football.

“His mentality inspires those who practice this sport. He has won a lot, but no one can win alone.

"I understand that his presence in Juve had created enormous expectations for the Champions League.

“But when a team loses, they lose as an entire squad, not a single player.”

Ronaldo was brought to Juventus in 2018 with the aim of delivering a first European Cup to Turin since 1996.

So far, both player and club have come up woefully short in their quest to realise that ambition.

Ajax knocked Juve out at the quarter-final stage in 2019, while Lyon shocked the Old Lady in the last-16 in 2020.

This latest setback will be a hammer blow for Ronaldo, who has just over 12 months left on his current deal in Italy.

READ MORE: Cristiano Ronaldo savaged over "pathetic" role in crucial Porto goal to dump Juventus out

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