It is extremely unlikely that we will ever see Cristiano Ronaldo playing for the same team as Lionel Messi. But Ronaldo’s switch to Juventus last summer offered us the following: the Portuguese superman in combination with Messi’s heir, the Argentinian No. 10, Paulo Dybala.
At the start of the season, the couple posed together for photos in the Bianconeri training center in Continassa. Dybala looked as happy as his new companion. The club’s fans and directors were enthusiastic about what the veteran could teach the younger man in terms of consistency, focus and preparation.
Eight months ahead and Ronaldo flies in Turin, with 28 goals in 42 games and his incredible one-man show against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League. Yet it was a frustrating campaign for Dybala.
Paulo Dybala (left) seemed delighted when Cristiano Ronaldo came to Juventus last summer
The couple posed for jokes on the club’s training field (left); but Ronaldo’s almighty presence has reduced Dybala’s once crucial role in the Juventus team
The Italian sports magazine Tuttosport reports that Dybala will be sold to finance new forward signings
So much so that the Italian sports newspaper Tuttosport now reports that the old lady wants to rejuvenate their offensive line-up after their shock exit from the Champions League by Ajax – by selling Dybala.
Juventus is reportedly willing to raise money at star striker Dybala to raise funds to sign one of Joao Felix, Mauro Icardi, Federico Chiesa or Mohamed Salah this summer.
There are no problems with Ronaldo – he and Dybala treat each other and respect each other.
“I’m lucky, I’m playing with Lionel for the national team and Cristiano with Juve,” Dybala said. “Not many people have had this opportunity. I learned a lot from Ronaldo. “
They even mixed their goals during the 3-0 home win at Frosinone in February. They both scored and mixed Ronaldo’s dramatic leap into the air and shouting ‘Siiiiiiuuuuu’ (‘yessssss’), and the mask gesture Dybala makes with his hand over his mouth. Dybala invited his followers on Instagram to name their new move and suggested ‘Siuuumask’.
And most players would be relatively satisfied with Dybala’s count of five goals so far this season in the Serie A and five in Europe.
However, Dybala is not ‘the most players’. He has trouble making a consistent impact in 2018-19 and regularly looks like a fish from the water in coach X of Massimiliano Allegri.
PAULO DYBALAS C.V.
Born: Laguna Larga, Cordoba, Argentina
Position: Attacker / Attacking Midfield
Clubs: Instituto (2011-12), Palermo (2012-15), Juventus (2015-present)
International: Argentina – 18 caps, 1 goal
Honors: 4x Series A, 3x Coppa Italia, 1x Series B
Allegri does not select Dybala for every game. Cristiano is one “untouchable” in attack, Mario Mandzukic is the other. The Croatian is the embodiment of a warrior, one of the hardest working players in the competition, who helps the defense and seeks the wings. His sacrifice and tireless running allows Ronaldo to save his 34-year-old legs for counterattacks or afterwards sprints.
Allegri is one of the best tacticians in world football, and his trophy-laden spell in Turin is remarkable for formations that get the best out of the available men. Allegri does not force players into his favorite schemes, but forms his approach around them. It seems common sense, but so many top coaches, past and present, refuse to be so malleable.
This season, 4-3-3 was the order of the day at the Allianz Stadium. As Juve bets, it does not include Orthodox No. 10 that works centrally behind the attacker, or a second striker. The idea is to give Ronaldo the freedom to do what he wants, but this has cost Dybala.
The 25-year-old operated a little farther from the opponent’s goal this year, which explains a fall in his league goals. After 18 starts last season, he had scored 17 times. This year he has only found it five times in 22 competition starts.
Dybala gave the free kick to Ronaldo, who for the record was not particularly impressive in that department. Dybala is a rare talent, an intoxicating dribbler, but does not yet have to reach this campaign.
His trademark of right-cutting and shooting with his wonderful left foot was all too rare in 2018-19. The Jewel, as Dybala is known, is too good for the bank but plays no natural role in Allegri’s current incarnation of the Bianconeri.
Dybala scored fewer goals this season and saw his position on the field change
Ronaldo is in a glowing hot goal score at Juve and the team is set to fulfill his needs
Regular observers from Dybala and Juve maintain that his best role is as second striker in 4-3-1-2 or 4-4-2. But with Ronaldo, Mandzukic (who is probably signing a new long-term contract) and emerging wonder boy Moise Kean, they have a bright future ahead.
The broad roles in attack are less than ideal for Dybala. Journalist Filippo Conticello of the Gazzetta dello Sport says: ‘Dybala does not possess the physical strength of Federico Bernardeschi, and when he is selected, he is further and further away from the profession of the other team. This was apparent from the disappointing loss for Genoa. Moreover, we all know how gifted he is, but he is not a leader. “
It is unlikely that Dybala will get a decent flight in the near future, hence rumors of a departure.
Dybala, who has appeared 18 times for Argentina, including a fruitless cameo at the World Cup last summer, was a £ 23 million signing from Palermo in 2015. But the view is that he could now make it three or four times.
For the past two decades, Juventus has been willing to sell their biggest names for the right price. Barely months after winning the 1996 Champions League, they sold striker Fabrizio Ravanelli and midfielder Paulo Sousa and let Captain Gianluca Vialli leave for free, significantly reducing their wage costs.
Juventus has never been afraid to sell their big names and Dybala could be the next one
A move to the Premier League could be on the cards, next to or against his friend Paul Pogba
The Italian giants cashed in Zinedine Zidane and Filippo Inzaghi in 2001 and used the profit to sign Pavel Nedved, Gianluigi Buffon, Marcelo Salas and Lilian Thuram.
More recently, they have sanctioned the return of Paul Pogba to Manchester United for £ 89 million. The Frenchman was hugely popular in Turin and perhaps the best midfielder of the Serie A. But the wise heads at the Allianz Stadium knew they could not reject such a juicy offer.
“We’ve known for a while that Juve will make a big sale this summer,” says Conticello. “One of the big earners will leave to generate money. The two rumors concern Dybala or Miralem Pjanic. Two years ago, when Dybala was in the best shape of his career, Juventus would have demanded € 200 million (£ 173 million) for him. Now they would accept € 100 million (£ 87 million). “
|RECORDING IN ALL CAPS||2015/2016 season||Season 2016/2017||2017/2018 season||2018/2019 season|
|Mins / Goal||134.13||177.37||129.85||255|
|Opportunities created (incl. Helps)||81||78||81||58|
For Juve fans, the idea that Dybala is boarding a plane to England or Spain is much less painful now that Ronaldo is one of them. He has had great times, including a goal for his debut in the Italian Super Cup 2015, four consecutive league titles (except for an unlikely collapse this season) and three Coppa Italias. And he beat Barcelona on his own from the Champions League 2017.
The favorites for his signature are Atletico Madrid, where he would be treated like a king, and Bayern Munich, who in recent years have recruited the Latin stars Arturo Vidal and James Rodriguez. Another option is an exchange with Inter-striker Mauro Icardi. It’s no secret that Juve is enthusiastic about Icardi, but Dybala is said to be lukewarm with the idea of switching to the blue and black half of Milan.
It would also be perfect for any Premier League party that needs a bit of flair in the last third. Liverpool soon misses the creativity of Philippe Coutinho by attacking midfield, which is Dybala’s area of expertise. If Chelsea circumvents their transfer ban from FIFA and sells Eden Hazard, Dybala would be a good substitute, even if their styles are not identical.
Manchester United is ready to start their summer revision because they have been in contact with Juventus via a flight from Dybala, according to Calciomercato.
Dybala’s future is in his own hands. He has until the end of the season to convince Juve to keep him. Questions about his temperament and versatility remain, but the man known as The Jewel still has time to shine.