Milan: While Cristiano Ronaldo spent part of the international break on holiday in St Tropez, his Juventus team mate Paulo Dybala found himself in all-too familiar surroundings on the substitutes’ bench. Ronaldo has failed to find the net during his first three games for Juventus following his move from Real Madrid and will continue his quest when the Serie A leaders, early leaders with nine points, host surprise early challengers Sassuolo on Sunday.
But if the five-times World Player of the Year is feeling frustrated by his mini-drought — and his reactions on the pitch suggest he is — his worries pale in comparison to Dybala’s unhappy start to the season. The 24-year-old Argentine, known as the Jewel for his pace, technique and scoring prowess, has played a pivotal role for Juventus since joining them three years ago. But, having started Juve’s opening game of the season, a 3-2 win at Chievo, Dybala was then left out of the starting line-up for the following two games against Lazio and Parma.
He then joined Argentina on a quick tour of the United States, where he was expected to get at least one start, but had to be content with a second-half substitute’s appearance in the second match against Colombia. Dybala’s admirers have hit out at his treatment with his brother Gustavo angrily criticising Argentina’s new coach Lionel Scaloni. Meanwhile, Maurizio Zamparini, the president of Dybala’s previous club Palermo, suggested that the player would leave Serie A in the next transfer window.