Cristiano Ronaldo drop hints on his Juventus future, Lecce relegated

Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus celebrates after scoring the goal of 3-0 for his side during the Serie A football match between Juventus FC and SSC Napoli. Juventus FC won 4-3 over SSC Napoli.

Almost 12 months after it started, the longest Serie A season in history finally drew to a close on Sunday. 

Though Juventus' firm grip on the Italian title remains a familiar yet boring narrative along the coronavirus-delayed campaign, the battle for the last relegation spot went down to the wire, as Genoa edged out Lecce to guarantee their survival on the final day for the second successive year.

Coming under huge pressure to win, Davide Nicola's side unleashed incredible attacking power and thrashed Verona 3-0 in a feisty encounter that saw four red cards, while Lecce, who needed to win and hope Genoa lost in order to avoid drop, tragically slumped to a 4-3 defeat to Parma in a seven-goal thriller and relegated to the second division.

Elsewhere Udinese earned a narrow 1-0 win at Sassuolo with Stefano Okaka's strike seven minutes after the interval the difference while Torino and Bologna played a drab 1-1 draw. Earlier in the day, two late goals from Christian Kouame and Erick Pulgar gifted Fiorentina a 3-1 A win at SPAL, who bid the Italian topflight farewell with their 28th defeat of the season.

Juventus did finish as the Serie A champions again, with the ninth league title in a row best reward for their dominance. However, Maurizio Sarri's side only claimed two wins from their final eight outings, and finished the campaign with back-to-back defeats against Cagliari and Roma.

OPTA statistics show that Juventus dropped 21 points from leading positions in this season, the most points dropped by a title winner in the competition's history. Meanwhile, Their total points of 83 is the lowest number they've got in the last decade.

They also recorded the highest number of defeats (seven), conceded more goals (43) and had the worst goal difference (+33) in comparison with those of their last eight title-winning triumphs.

Sarri was heavily criticized for his lusterless personality and tactics, and it didn't help that he is rumored to have a testy relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus' most expensive and influential superstar. 

Speculation abounds that the 35-year-old, who lost to Lazio's Ciro Immobile in the race to win golden boot, might seek pastures new if Sarri sticks to his job. But on Sunday, the Portuguese talisman hinted he is staying at Juventus as he relished clinching his second Italian title and wanted more.

"Happy to win the last two of the nine consecutive Serie A titles for Juventus!" said Ronaldo on Instagram. "It seems easy but it isn't! Year after year with talent, dedication and hard work you can achieve your goals and be better than before! Let's go for my third."

Ronaldo could still have the chance to put the icing on the cake of a good season as Juventus aim to overturn a 1-0 first leg deficit against Lyon in the last-16 round of the Champions League on Friday.

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