Put your feet up, Cristiano: Ronaldo set for first spell on sidelines with Juventus
Cristiano Ronaldo will enjoy a Christmas rest as Juventus coach Max Allegri confirms that the star won't be in the starting line-up for the first time in his brief Italian career for Wednesday's match with Atalanta.
Allegri was quick to point out that Ronaldo's absence from the team isn't performance related, but rather he is keen to keep the forward as sharp as possible ahead of Juventus' bid for Champions League glory.Also on rt.com Neymar longing for Barcelona return amid ‘constant calls’ to former club – reports
Allegri's side - who enjoy an eight-point lead atop Serie A - resume their European campaign when they face a two-leg tie with Atletico Madrid beginning on February 20.
"Ronaldo's going to be on the bench," Allegri said of Wednesday's match with ninth-placed Atalanta. "He's available, but he's going to watch the game together with me for the first time."
The Portuguese has scored 11 goals in 17 appearances since joining Juventus in a surprise move from Real Madrid last summer, but more so than his domestic form Allegri sees Ronaldo's experience as a multiple-time Champions League winner as crucial to his own team's hopes.
"I'm very happy with how he's doing, as I am with everybody," Allegri continued. "We need him to be in his best shape in March when we get to the business end of the Champions League. He's going to have to be even more decisive than he has been in recent years."
It is expected that Ronaldo will return to the side for Saturday's clash with Sampdoria, which will be Juve's last domestic fixture before the league's three-week winter break.