After his official unveiling at Juventus on Thursday, Sarri wasted no time in arranging to meet the Portuguese superstar, jetting off to join him as the forward suns himself on a holiday break aboad a yacht in the French Riveria.
Sarri is said to have told Ronaldo he wants to see him operate more in a ‘number 9’ role, closer to the opposition goal rather than out on the wing, in the belief that will allow him to be even more productive.It was in the South of France on Friday that Sarri and Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici caught up with Ronaldo to discuss plans for next season, according to numerous reports in the Italian press.
The Italian manager is also prepared to allow his star forward – who arrived from Real Madrid last summer for a fee of around €100 million ($117 million) – more tactical freedom, which is said to have met with the Portuguese star’s approval.
Also on rt.com ‘I want to help Ronaldo break more records’ – Sarri sets out stall at Juventus unveilingIn reality, while Ronaldo has stuck with the number 7 shirt he has been synonymous with since his days at Manchester United, with age he has transformed from a marauding winger to more of an out-and-out striker.
The 34-year-old netted 21 goals in his first Serie A season, but the personal target for the Portuguese serial record breaker will be Gonzalo Higuain’s record haul of 36 goals in a season, set while playing under Sarri at Napoli in 2015-16.
Sarri said at his Juventus unveiling on Thursday that he wants to help five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo “break even more records” as they bid to win a ninth consecutive Seria A title and, more importantly, end the club’s 20-year wait for European silverware.
|ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, Durham|
|Sri Lanka 338-6 (50 overs): Fernando 104, Holder 2-59|
|West Indies 315-9 (50 overs): Pooran 118, Malinga 3-55|
|Sri Lanka won by 23 runs|
|Scorecard; Table; Schedule|
Slightly built, Fernando favoured precise strokeplay over power in the mould of Sri Lanka legend Mahela Jayawardene, but he was still able to dispatch Sheldon Cottrell for two sixes into the leg side, one measured at 83 metres.
The Windies were guilty of five no-balls, the highest in an innings at this tournament and it was a mammoth overstep from Oshane Thomas that allowed Lahiru Thirimanne a reprieve after he clipped straight to mid-wicket.
Thirimanne advanced down the wicket to thump successive boundaries in the next over as the Sri Lanka middle order all contributed to an impressive total – their previous highest in the competition had been 247 in an 87-run defeat by Australia at The Oval.
However, after Malinga struck twice in his opening three overs, it was the brilliance of Pooran that looked set to rescue the mercurial Windies, who had Barbadian pop star Rihanna cheering them on enthusiastically from the stands.
Pooran, the stylish Trinidadian left-hander, reached his fifty with a six, and with Allen also striking the ball cleanly for his maiden half-century, West Indies looked favourites as Sri Lanka’s attack began to wilt and show a lack of depth.
But the pivotal moment came when Mathews, in his first one-day international spell for 561 days, lured Pooran into a full-blooded cut that, for once, was not struck sweetly and the ball was gleefully pouched behind the stumps.
Sri Lanka will surely rue two washed-out matches earlier in the tournament, because even if they beat India in their final match and reach 10 points, they would not go through as other teams have more wins.
|World Cup group table|
‘Angelo put his hands up’
Sri Lanka captain Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne: “To win any match is a great feeling. It gives us lots of confidence. All of the players are doing really well. That is what I was expecting as a captain.
“Angelo put his hands up and said: ‘OK I will bowl two overs.’ He has that confidence. He did the job. I don’t think he is going to bowl much more, but if it is a crucial time he might bowl a couple of overs.”
West Indies skipper Jason Holder: “We started slowly out of the blocks; we gave up a lot of runs in the field and that really hurts you. We were sloppy. We have to be better. This entire tournament we have let key moments slip.
“I felt 338 was about par, it was free-scoring. It was a matter of us getting in and playing some shots. Pooran had an outstanding knock. He gave himself a chance and went deep. The run-outs were crucial. We were one or two partnerships away.”