The five time Ballon d’Or winner spent three years with the Bianconeri from 2018 to 2021 and scored 101 goals in that time, but he still could not guide the team to the coveted Champions League and by the time he left, the Turin side’s domestic dominance had drawn to a close.
Speaking in an interview with Corriere della Sera, Buffon reflected upon Ronaldo’s time with Juventus, suggesting that some of the squad weren’t ready for his arrival.
“I said that a certain DNA had been lost with him because I think so, and on deeper reflection I can say that clearly it’s not Cristiano’s fault, because he is top and when you sign a player of that calibre you know what you’re getting into.
“You have to understand if the others are prepared and in my opinion many players weren’t ready to share a certain type of experience. Whether you like it or not, everyone feels like Cristiano and this should never happen, especially in a club like Juve.
“When he arrived in Turin, I went to Paris. And when I came back I saw something different, that didn’t remind me of what I had left behind.”
The 43-year-old Parma goalkeeper also feels like Paulo Dybala’s injury troubles have stopped him from becoming a true leader with Juventus.
“He is definitely a technical leader because he is Juve’s best player and then in recent years he has matured a lot.
“To be able to play this role, however, you have to be there and in the last two years he has been absent a lot because of injuries. The moment he finds consistency, he will be consecrated as a leader of Juve.”
He touched on the impact of the departure of former CEO Beppe Marotta, who spent eight years with Juventus from 2010 to 2018 before leaving for Inter.
“It is crucial to have empathy and that kind of experience and sensitivity in the way of acting and relating with others. Who to sign, who to buy, what to change about a team. In this, Marotta had an animal-like, instinctive intelligence, which only professionals with superior skills have.”
Finally, Buffon discussed Italy’s upcoming 2022 World Cup play-offs against North Macedonia and then the winner of Portugal-Turkey.
“No mistakes will be made. The big problem is that we will play against a very strong team, at least as strong as us. Consequently, it is possible that Italy will not qualify. I have no regrets about the national team. What bothers me is when someone says ‘if you were called up as third goalkeeper you could go to the World Cup…’
“I have been captain of the national team so I know what the importance of a squad means, you have to leave a capable coach like Mancini calm and free to make his own choices, without bothering him.
“And nobody has to give me any gifts, I make them myself, if I can, because sport is meritocracy. I can also think that being a third goalkeeper is too much of a handicap, the way I am now.”
#Buffon: 'Dybala è il migliore della #Juve, gli manca continuità per essere leader. #Marotta? Intelligenza animalesca. Io da terzo al Mondiale? Potrei ritenerlo penalizzante' https://t.co/nhNxp1mYv1 pic.twitter.com/4Qf1OFoPcL
— calciomercato.com (@cmdotcom) December 31, 2021