ROME, July 27: It�s no exaggeration to say that Cristiano Ronaldo had more of an impact on Juventus� record-extending ninth straight Serie A title than anyone else.
The five-time Ballon d�Or winner matched a record by scoring in 11 straight league matches before the break for the coronavirus pandemic and quickly regained his form during the restart by reaching the 30-goal mark after only 30 games in his second season in Italy.
For his 31st goal, Ronaldo scored the opener when Juventus beat Sampdoria 2-0 on Sunday to seal the title with two games to spare.
Ronaldo needs only one more goal to break a tie for the Juventus single-season record for league goals set by Felice Borel in 1933-34.
Ronaldo�s 10 goals after the lockdown are more than any other player has scored in Europe�s top five leagues, with Manchester City�s Raheem Sterling and Bayern Munich�s Robert Lewandowski each scoring nine.
�Records are always important, but the important thing is that the team wins,� Ronaldo said.
�These things are nice, but the scoring title is a natural process that comes as a consequence of scoring to win games for the team.�
At 35, Ronaldo has started every match since the restart.
�He has this incredible ability to recover,� Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri said.
�I think it�s just in his DNA, his ability to project himself on to the next goal, every time. His mental and physical recovery rate is definitely unique.�
Ronaldo has developed an effective partnership with Paulo Dybala during the restart.
�We might have some moments in a game where we don�t cover the penalty area to perfection, but everything is compensated by their individual strength,� Sarri said.
�We�re talking about two players who combined to score 41 goals this season. That�s a world-class level.�
Until recently, the most consecutive titles won in Serie A had been five, first set by Juventus from 1931-35.
The five-season streak was then matched by Torino from 1943-49 � including a period interrupted by World War II; and Inter Milan from 2006-10.
Juventus already has the longest streak in Europe�s top five leagues. Although Bayern Munich, which recently won the Bundesliga for the eighth straight time, isn�t far behind.
The longest top-flight streak anywhere in Europe was 14 set by Latvian club Skonto from 1991-2004 and Lincoln of Gibraltar from 2003-16.
The one major criticism surrounding Juventus�s previous eight titles was that the team wasn�t pretty to watch.
The first three titles won under Antonio Conte and then the next five under Massimiliano Allegri involved teams characterized for their suffocating defense and timely counterattacks.
First-year coach Sarri was expected to install his eye-opening system of swift passing and offensive wizardry � a system he honed to near-perfection at Napoli before overcoming doubters to direct Chelsea to the Europa League title last season. � AP