Cuadrado 'can't imagine' Messi joining Ronaldo at Juventus

By Sports Desk August 27, 2020

Juventus attacker Juan Cuadrado cannot see Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi joining Cristiano Ronaldo at the Serie A champions.

Messi has sensationally told Barca he wants to leave the club, where the six-time Ballon d'Or winner has spent his entire professional career.

Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter have been most strongly linked with moves for the 33-year-old.

Others have suggested Messi could join Ronaldo in Turin to bring together the two best players of the modern day, but Cuadrado would be surprised if such a move happened.

"I can't imagine it at all. The truth is that I don't," he told ESPN Nexo on Thursday.

Cuadrado added: "Just like with Cristiano, many people did not believe and suddenly he arrived."

Juve are preparing to begin their 2020-21 campaign under a new head coach after Andrea Pirlo replaced Maurizio Sarri at the helm earlier this month.

Cuadrado, who has been at Juve since 2015 and initially arrived on loan, said he was yet to hold talks with Pirlo about his plans.

"I have not had the opportunity to talk to him yet. When it is my turn I will surely tell him where I feel much more comfortable [playing]," he said.

"Hopefully what he knows and what a good player he was, he can contribute to the team and that we can get many titles together."

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    It has been a forgettable season for Juve, who had their run of nine consecutive Serie A titles snapped by newly crowned champions Inter, amid doubts over Ronaldo and first-year head coach Andrea Pirlo.

    Pirlo's position is under intense scrutiny as Juve languish fifth in the table, with Champions League qualification now out of their hands ahead of Saturday's showdown against Inter.

    Ronaldo also continues to be linked with a move away from Juve amid reported interest from Paris Saint-Germain and former club Manchester United.

    Italian great Vieri – who played for both Juve and Inter – warned of a mass exodus if the Bianconeri were absent from Europe's premier club competition for the first time since 2011-12.

    "For me, Inter will win in Turin and Juventus won't play the Champions League next season," Vieri said via his Twitch program 'Bobo TV'.

    "Without Champions League football, Ronaldo will leave and many others will follow him, Juventus will face a severe financial crisis.

    "It will be a dramatic failure and many players will leave."

    Juventus have conceded at least one goal in each of their last 13 games in all competitions; they last suffered a longer such run in 1955 (21 games in a row).

    After winning 2-0 in the reverse fixture, Inter could claim two consecutive Serie A games against Juve for the first time since 2003-04 under Alberto Zaccheroni, while the Nerazzurri last beat the Bianconeri on the road in the league in 2012.

    Ronaldo made his senior debut with Sporting CP against Inter via a Champions League qualifier in August 2002. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has scored four goals in 10 matches in all competitions against the Nerazzurri (W5 D4 L1).

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    The Blues have the opportunity to garnish their impressive recovery under Tuchel with some silverware at Wembley on Saturday.

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    "The situation in the league does not allow us to celebrate. We have two finals coming up and want to win both of them.

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    Tuchel has a mixed record in finals, winning the DFB-Pokal with Borussia Dortmund in 2016-17, having lost on penalties to Bayern Munich in the domestic showpiece 12 months earlier.

    He won the 2019-20 Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue, having lost – again on penalties to Rennes – in the final of the former a year earlier. However, a 1-0 defeat to Bayern in last August's Champions League final prevented a clean sweep.

    "It's very hard to learn from one final to the next final, because you never know how many years or months in between. Your opponent is different, your team is maybe different," said the 47-year-old, who will lead Chelsea in the Champions League final against Manchester City later this month.

    "A general rule is that the more tension, the more decisive character that a game has, the less new information you give. You have short, clear sessions.

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    At Dortmund, Tuchel explained his attempts to lighten the mood for such occasions extended to him playing as a goalkeeper in training.

    "I gave a lot of confidence to my players," he chuckled, having confirmed the far more able Kepa Arrizabalaga will be between the posts for Chelsea in the final.

    "Laughter is always very, very welcome, but if you try hard to make the group smile it will not happen. It has to come naturally. If you don't feel it, don't do it

    "The tension will grow once you arrive at Wembley. There will be a certain energy that maybe you cannot prepare for. Adapt to it, go for it and embrace the challenge.

    "It's normal to be excited and nervous."

    In terms of his own preparations when it comes to dealing with those nerves, Tuchel revealed he practices meditation.

    "Just 20 minutes, breathe in, breathe out and try hard to do nothing," he added.

    "Some years ago I came into this. It helped me, it was a nice experience when I was between coaching Mainz and Dortmund.

    "Sometimes I'm very disciplined and do it twice and day, sometimes I am not so disciplined for weeks."

    Discipline will be a watchword for Chelsea this weekend – especially immediately after full-time if they manage to secure the club's ninth FA Cup.

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