Cristiano Ronaldo was 'happy to be substituted' vs Inter, says Juve boss Andrea Pirlo

Cristiano Ronaldo substituted during Juventus' 3-2 win vs Inter Milan

Cristiano Ronaldo was substituted in a Serie A fixture for the first time in 2021 during Juventus' 3-2 win over Inter Milan on Saturday. 

The Old Lady are desperately scrambling to secure their place in next season's Champions League and their clash with the recently-crowned Italian champions represented an absolute must-win for the club. 

In what proved to be a turbulent affair, Juve eventually secured the three points with a late goal from Juan Cuadrado.

The hosts went down to ten men in the 55th minute when Rodrigo Bentacur was shown his marching orders for a second bookable offence but, despite an own goal from Giorgio Chiellini in the 83rd minute, they eventually scraped a priceless result and move back up to fourth in the table.

Andrea Pirlo's side managed to get over the line without their iconic clutch player on the field during the final 20 minutes.

Ronaldo was withdrawn in the 70th minute and replaced by Alvaro Morata on a day in which the Portugal international bagged his 29th league goal of the season.

His thirst for self improvement and burning desire to be the very best player in world football have enabled him to compete on a platform alongside Lionel Messi throughout his career. 

With that in mind, it would be fair to assume that Pirlo's decision would have been greeted with disdain.

However, the Juve boss suggested that Ronaldo was actually pleased to see his number pop up on the electric board for the first time in a Serie A game this season. 

"I think it was the first time he was happy to be subbed off," Pirlo told Sky Italia (via Goal).

"We were one man down, and he'd have been chasing shadows. He was happy and smiling in the dressing room."

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It was a brave move from Pirlo but the end result provided all the vindication he needed. 

However, the suggestion that Ronaldo, a player who's worked so relentlessly to be in peak physical condition, would have been chasing shadows is unlikely to be greeted with too much enthusiasm from the player himself. 

Next up for Juve is a Coppa Italia final clash with Atalanta on Wednesday evening before they face Bologna in the final league fixture of the season next Sunday. 

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