Cristiano Ronaldo and “many others” will leave if Juventus fail to qualify for the Champions League, according to Christian Vieri.
It has been a forgettable season for Juve, who had their run of nine consecutive Serie A titles snapped by newly crowned champions Inter, amid doubts over Ronaldo and first-year head coach Andrea Pirlo.
Pirlo’s position is under intense scrutiny as Juve languish fifth in the table, with Champions League qualification now out of their hands ahead of Saturday’s showdown against Inter.
Ronaldo also continues to be linked with a move away from Juve amid reported interest from Paris Saint-Germain and former club Manchester United.
Italian great Vieri – who played for both Juve and Inter – warned of a mass exodus if the Bianconeri were absent from Europe’s premier club competition for the first time since 2011-12.
“For me, Inter will win in Turin and Juventus won’t play the Champions League next season,” Vieri said via his Twitch program ‘Bobo TV’.
“Without Champions League football, Ronaldo will leave and many others will follow him, Juventus will face a severe financial crisis.
“It will be a dramatic failure and many players will leave.”
Juventus have conceded at least one goal in each of their last 13 games in all competitions; they last suffered a longer such run in 1955 (21 games in a row).
After winning 2-0 in the reverse fixture, Inter could claim two consecutive Serie A games against Juve for the first time since 2003-04 under Alberto Zaccheroni, while the Nerazzurri last beat the Bianconeri on the road in the league in 2012.
Ronaldo made his senior debut with Sporting CP against Inter via a Champions League qualifier in August 2002. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored four goals in 10 matches in all competitions against the Nerazzurri (W5 D4 L1).