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Pirlo explains decision to bench Ronaldo against Bologna

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Cristiano Ronaldo was benched for arguably Juventus’ most important game of the season on Sunday night.

Cristiano Ronaldo agreed with Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo to sit out of the Bologna match due to fatigue.

The 36-year-old’s absence was a surprise, but an understandable one. He had played over 430 minutes of football across four games since May 9, averaging a match every three days, prior to Sunday’s season finale.

And after helping Juventus defeat Atalanta 2-1 in the Coppa Italia final last week, Ronaldo felt fatigued. Therefore, Pirlo gave his star player a well-earned rest and started Alvaro Morata in his place in Bologna.

“It was a shared decision, Ronaldo was tired after Wednesday’s game, so I decided to start Morata, another great player,” Pirlo told DAZN.

“Ronaldo was available, I have a deep squad, and I can pick many different players.”

Morata stepped up well in Ronaldo’s absence by scoring two goals to help Juventus bag a crucial 4-1 win at Bologna. Federico Chiesa and Adrien Rabiot were also on target.

The result was enough to allow the Bianconeri to snatch a top-four spot from Napoli, who drew 1-1 with Hellas Verona, in Serie A.