Cristiano Ronaldo: Why Juventus star still hasn’t scored his first Serie A goal

That’s the belief of Italy national team manager Roberto Mancini.

Having scored 40 goals in all of his last eight seasons at Real Madrid, it was widely assumed that in a league perceived to be of lower quality than La Liga and in a team of Juventus’ dominance and quality, Ronaldo’s goalscoring nous would translate seamlessly.

The Portuguese star has had 23 shots across just three matches for the Turin giants but has yet to score and only managed one of his eight attempts on target in their 2-1 win Parma last weekend.

Ronaldo was an £88million addition from Madrid in July with the Old Lady – title winner for the last seven straight years – keen to win the Champions League for the first time since 1996.

And though Ronaldo has played just three games, his mini ‘drought’ has seen plenty of questions asked as to whether the 33-year-old might struggle more than first thought in Serie A.

But Mancini – a three-time Italian top-flight-winning manager – is confident that Ronaldo will find goalscoring form once he adjusts to what he believes is a different style of playing and defending to Spain.

“There are times when things just do not happen, I do not think Cristiano has problems getting back to the goals,” Mancini – who spent much of his playing career and managerial career in his homeland – told Rai Sport.

“It’s a difficult moment, but it’s normal for an attacker, too.

“In Italy, the rivals always defend in their own midfield and Cristiano Ronaldo he can not find all the spaces he had in Spain.

“In La Liga they play another kind of football.”

Despite Ronaldo’s slow start – at least by his standards – Portugal boss Fernando Santos thinks he should be named UEFA’s Player of the Year award for the 2018 calendar year.

Ronaldo is in the running alongside former Madrid team-mate Luka Modric, Golden Ball winner at the World Cup, and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.

But having scored 15 goals on the way to Madrid’s third straight Champions League win last term, Santos thinks Ronaldo should edge out his rivals for the end-of-year accolade.

He said: ”The vote for the best of FIFA is not mine. If it was mine, Ronaldo was the champion.

“Ronaldo is the champion for me. And in second place, I’d put Modric. Modric is a fantastic player, that’s why I’ve put him in second.

“But in this previous election, I think Cristiano should’ve been the winner for all he did at that period of time and especially in the Champions League.”

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