Leonardo Bonucci, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Getty/Chris Ricco
  • Cristiano Ronaldo's old Juventus teammate says he made the rest of the squad lazy because they relied on him too much.
  • Juventus failed to win Serie A for the first time in a decade in Ronaldo's final season in Turin.
  • "Players started to think his presence alone was enough to win games," said Leonardo Bonucci.
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Leonardo Bonucci, a former teammate of Cristiano Ronaldo, has fired a warning to Manchester United about the player, saying that during his time with Juventus the Portuguese star inadvertently made the rest of the team lazy because it became so reliant on him winning games.

Ronaldo left Turin to re-join Manchester United this summer, and has since been in scintillating form, scoring five goals in six matches.

During his three year spell in Italy, however, Juventus got progressively worse as a team.

After winning Serie A and Italian Supercup in Ronaldo's first season, the Old Lady won the league again the following year, but failed to win a second trophy for the first time in seven seasons.

In Ronaldo's final season, Juventus won the Coppa Italia and the Supercup, but finished fourth in Serie A - bringing to an end a decade-long streak of the club winning Italy's top flight.

Asked if signing Ronaldo made the rest of Juventus' squad complacent, defender Bonucci told The Athletic: "This was the thing. The idea that one player, even the best in the world, could guarantee Juventus victory.

"Cristiano's presence had a big influence on us. Just training with him gave us something extra but subconsciously players started to think his presence alone was enough to win games.

"We began to fall a little short in our daily work, the humility, the sacrifice, the desire to be there for your teammate day after day. Over the last few years, I think you could see that."

Cristiano Ronaldo plays for Juventus FC.
Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

"Maybe it was taken for granted that if we gave the ball to Cristiano he'd win us the game," he added.

"But Cristiano needed the team as much as we needed him. There had to be a trade-off because it's the team that lifts the individual even if the individual is the best player on the planet."

Despite Bonucci's claim, Juventus has struggled this season in the absence of the 36-year-old forward.

Massimiliano Allegri's side has won just two of its six Serie A matches so far, suffering defeats at the hands of both Napoli and minnows Empoli.

After its draw against AC Milan on September 19, Allegri stormed off the pitch while launching an expletive-laden rant at his players.

"Holy shit! And they want to play for Juventus!" - he was heard yelling.

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