Juventus will help Ronaldo break Serie A duck - Matuidi

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There has been some unsavoury tit-for-tat fallout over UEFA's decision to name Luka Modric, who captained Croatia to the runners-up slot at the World Cup, as its Player of the Year.

He has played two Serie A games so far, a 3-2 win at Chievo and a 2-0 home victory over Lazio.

"Italian football presents different problems and it takes time", he said. "I am really happy with the performance, the result and to give that good feeling to the fans".

Ronaldo has been left out of Portugal's squad for their friendly against Croatia and Uefa Nations League opener against Italy during the global break.

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The 24-year-old made 46 appearances for Monaco last season, scoring eight goals and assisting in a further five strikes. The manager, though, sees long-term advantages in Liverpool not being at their spellbinding best just yet.

Del Piero felt Modric was a worthy victor and criticised Ronaldo's decision to not attend the awards ceremony in Monaco last week.

He's scored 85 goals, including four at the World Cup in Russian Federation, in 154 caps for Portugal.

However, the coldest of the waters were poured on that hot trail of annual speculations when he completed a blockbuster move to Serie A giants Juventus.

"There is more dedication to defending in Italy and [Ronaldo] is aware of it, as he's a clever player".

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"He won't get more than 30 goals, in my view. It's more tactical and even the smaller teams are more organized".

"Usually the top scorer in Italy scores 26 or 27 goals". He also didn't score in his first three Liga matches a year ago, though he did score in other competitions for Madrid during that spell.

"Juventus were always a big candidate but they have transformed themselves into the biggest candidate because they don't hide that the investment they have made has been made to win it".

"I spoke with him and we decided that in consideration of his adjustment process to Turin and his new squad he won't be with us during this period", Portugal coach Fernando Santos said.

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