Football: Relieved Ronaldo says he needed to score from free kick

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their third goal. PHOTO: REUTERS

TURIN, ITALY (REUTERS) - Cristiano Ronaldo confessed that he was relieved to finally score from a free kick for Juventus on Saturday (July 4), after 42 failed attempts and nearly two years of trying.

The 35-year-old takes most of the Turin side's free kicks but, despite that, he had failed to score from one until his curling effort in the 4-1 win over Torino.

"I needed to score from a free kick to get my confidence back," he said.

Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri said he was surprised how much the problem had been bothering the five-times World Player of the Year.

"I honestly didn't think it was (a problem) but at the end of the match, he came to me and said 'finally'," Sarri said.

Sarri said that Juventus appeared to think the game was easy after going 2-0 ahead in half an hour but then got "confused" when Torino pulled one back from a penalty in first-half stoppage time.

"At a certain moment of the game, we didn't move very well, then in the second part of the second half the teams were tired and our quality came out," he said.

He also praised Argentine playmaker Paulo Dybala who has found a new lease of life since the coronavirus stoppage.

"I never had any doubts about Dybala," he said.

"It's true he didn't score much in the championship last year, but if you take the season two years ago, he scored a lot. He's just had an unlucky season.

"I've always told him what I think about how he should train and how he should play. And he tells me what he thinks."

Torino coach Moreno Longo was frustrated by the scoreline after his team put Juventus under pressure for long periods.

"We played against Juventus on equal terms," he said.

"It's a tough result given what happened on the pitch and that creates regret.

"We had 17 shots on goal and put them under pressure. We showed great personality and we controlled the match for long periods."

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