Juventus manager, Andrea Pirlo, has defended his decision to substitute forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, during his side’s Coppa Italia semi-final first leg 2-1 victory against Inter Milan on Tuesday night.

Pirlo explained that there is no contract clause that says Ronaldo can’t be substituted during a match.

Ronaldo was visibly unhappy to be replaced by Alvaro Morata with 14 minutes remaining, but Pirlo is now saying that he wanted to keep the 35-year-old fresh for Sunday’s Serie A match against Roma.

Two goals from Ronaldo gave Pirlo’s men the victory against Inter Milan at San Siro.

Lautaro Martinez did score a goal for Antonio Conte’s side.

Juventus will face Inter Milan in the Coppa Italia semi-final second leg tie next week Tuesday in Turin.

“It’s normal that when you go out in a match like this, you want to play to help the team,” Pirlo told Rai Sport.

“There is no contract clause that says he [Cristiano Ronaldo] can’t be subbed off. He knows he is a fundamental player for us but to get his breath back, he must always be at the top.

“He proved it with his performances after some criticism. He couldn’t have done better than that.

“I said [to him] that he had to rest, we have an important match on Saturday. He has played many consecutive games, every now and then a little rest is good for him.”

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