Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo admits he’ll have to manage Cristiano Ronaldo wisely this season as the 35-year-old enters the twilight years of his glittering career.
Ronaldo was on the scoresheet as Juventus got their bid for a 10th successive Serie A title off to a winning start on Sunday.
The Portuguese superstar wrapped up the scoring late on as Juve defeated Sampdoria 3-0 at the Allianz Stadium.
Debutant Dejan Kulusevski put defending champions ahead in the 13th minute before late goals from Leonardo Bonucci and Ronaldo sealed victory.
It was a promising start to his managerial career for Pirlo, and he admits their success this season will be heavily reliant on Ronaldo’s fitness.
“We are thinking about it and we have talked about it together,” Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia.
“He is not tired at the moment because we have just started the season. But when we come up to less important games, we’ll try to give him a rest.
“He’s a very intelligent lad who knows his body very well, so he is aware of when it’s time to rest or step it up. When he will play depends on him.”
Liverpool are keen to repeat last season’s success – and you don’t want to miss a thing, surely?
From all of Liverpool’s updates to the must-read Reds stories, get them straight to your inbox without fuss by signing up for the fantastic Mirror Football newsletter!
Liverpool got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds.
In terms of transfers the Reds have completed the signing of Thiago Alcantara and Wolves’ Diogo Jota is arriving too.
Youngster Ki-Jana Hoever is set to head to Wolves in a £10million deal, while Gini Wijnaldum continues to be linked with Barcelona. There’s a lot to keep track of.
The easiest way to keep up with Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool? It’s by signing up. Put your email at the top of this article or follow the instructions on this link.
Former Milan and Juventus midfielder Pirlo had no senior coaching experience before he was surprisingly chosen to replace Maurizio Sarri in August, and only got his coaching badge last week.
Juventus are chasing a tenth successive Serie A title.
In Sunday’s other Serie A matches, second-half goals from Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne fired Napoli to a 2-0 win at Parma, Genoa defeated Crotone 4-1 and Sassuolo drew 1-1 with Cagliari.