Juventus' attitude despite 'super champion' Ronaldo concerns Di Livio

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Former Juventus star Angelo Di Livio has been concerned by the absence of the Bianconeri's usual "unique mentality" at times this season, but talisman Cristiano Ronaldo escaped criticism.

With the season suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic, Juve are top of Serie A and playing in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Yet Italy's defending champions have not been entirely convincing this term under Maurizio Sarri, sitting just one point clear of Lazio in the league and trailing Lyon 1-0 after the first leg of their European tie.

Di Livio, who was part of the last Juve team to win the Champions League in 1995-96, was troubled by their approach to the Lyon game and does not consider them genuine contenders for Europe's top title.

"Juve are still a long shot from what I have seen this season before COVID," he told Stats Perform News. "They struggled even in Serie A and they have a super Lazio just one point behind them.

"They are at risk in Serie A as much as in the Champions League against Lyon. They have to come from behind, but I didn't like their approach.

"Juventus boast a very unique mentality, we all know that. Whoever plays there knows exactly what to do with aggression, grit and love for the shirt.

"This season they looked a bit prissy, but they still top the league and have a game in hand to topple Lyon."

Di Livio is at least encouraged by Sarri's recent work at the club, although he was bemused by the departure of previous head coach Massimiliano Allegri.

"Not many have understood this change at the helm," he said. "You have to respect a winner.

"I hold Massimiliano Allegri in high esteem because in comparison he looks so similar to Marcello Lippi. He who wins can't be sacked. Allegri was pivotal for that and even for this Juventus.

"Of course, good luck to Sarri, who has finally understood what it means to manage a club that has to win."

Ronaldo, Juve's star man, is a role model for his team-mates, according to Di Livio.

He said: "Cristiano Ronaldo always has to play. You can make him rest once every 15 games. He is admirable and it is proven by all his team-mates who get on so well with him.

"He is a super champion. He leads by example for his working attitude, his lifestyle, never a problem. Hats off."