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22 Jun, 2019 10:02

From CR7 to CR9: Ronaldo & Sarri in holiday meeting to plot star striker’s ‘new role at Juve’

From CR7 to CR9: Ronaldo & Sarri in holiday meeting to plot star striker’s ‘new role at Juve’

New Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri has met Cristiano Ronaldo in the South of France to plot an even more lethal attacking role for the star striker, according to reports in Italy.

After his official unveiling at Juventus on Thursday, Sarri wasted no time in arranging to meet the Portuguese superstar, jetting off to join him as the forward suns himself on a holiday break aboad a yacht in the French Riveria.

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It was in the South of France on Friday that Sarri and Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici caught up with Ronaldo to discuss plans for next season, according to numerous reports in the Italian press.

Sarri is said to have told Ronaldo he wants to see him operate more in a ‘number 9’ role, closer to the opposition goal rather than out on the wing, in the belief that will allow him to be even more productive.

The Italian manager is also prepared to allow his star forward – who arrived from Real Madrid last summer for a fee of around €100 million ($117 million) – more tactical freedom, which is said to have met with the Portuguese star’s approval.

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In reality, while Ronaldo has stuck with the number 7 shirt he has been synonymous with since his days at Manchester United, with age he has transformed from a marauding winger to more of an out-and-out striker.

The 34-year-old netted 21 goals in his first Serie A season, but the personal target for the Portuguese serial record breaker will be Gonzalo Higuain’s record haul of 36 goals in a season, set while playing under Sarri at Napoli in 2015-16.

Sarri said at his Juventus unveiling on Thursday that he wants to help five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo “break even more records” as they bid to win a ninth consecutive Seria A title and, more importantly, end the club’s 20-year wait for European silverware.

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