When I first saw Tuttosport link Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus, I chuckled and kept scrolling down my timeline. Even as reports from Spain and Portugal poured in, I remained very skeptical. Not only because the sources didn’t seem quite reliable, but financially, a deal to sign Cristiano seemed impossible for any Italian club, let alone the most well-run, Juventus.
And yet here we are. Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the most well-known names on the planet, will play football in Italy. There are so many different ways to look at this but I’ll just give my first thoughts as reports became credible and it actually seemed like it could happen.
While I was shocked and stunned at Juve’s decision to trigger Gonzalo Higuain’s €90 million release clause two summers ago, this deal is in a whole ‘nother stratosphere. Not only considering the money involved (large transfer fee and enormous wages), but also the fact Cristiano would come to play in Serie A. This is a massive coup for a league whose image was tarnished 12 years ago with the Calciopoli scandal; still by most measures recovering and lagging behind the Premier League and La Liga.
Add that to the fact that the club which was punished the harshest from that scandal has risen to win seven consecutive league titles, and has now signed a global superstar makes it even more remarkable. I’ve seen many say that a move like this is the antithesis of Juve’s management style during their recent reign, but perhaps that efficiency from the board for all those years paved the way to make a colossal deal such as this. For comparison, Juve’s top earners are Higuain (€7.5 million salary) and Dybala (€7 million salary), while Cristiano will reportedly earn €30 million a season. They’ll be paying CR7 more than triple their previously highest paid player. Anyone who has followed Juve’s business model over recent years would never imagine that happening.
It will be interesting to see where Max Allegri looks to insert Cristiano into his lineup. Obviously, there’s over a month left in the transfer market and some departures are probably to be expected. The biggest question mark will be if Higuain is sold or remains at Juve. Nonetheless, I’d probably expect to see CR7 on the left wing of the 4-2-3-1 and possibly even as the central striker, maybe more so as he gets a bit older. Assuming Dybala stays, Juventus will potentially have the most electric attack in the world. Watching the Bianconeri is sure to be exciting! If Ronaldo can manage to win a Ballon d’Or while playing in Italy and help Juve win a Champions League title, he’ll have a real shout at being the GOAT; or at the least, the most highly decorated football player in history, which is probably a significant reason why he accepted the move. Love him or hate him, Cristiano always strives to be the best in everything he does.
As for the many people saying that this will be fantastic for the league in every way, there’s no doubt for the potential for that. Cristiano undoubtedly represents a remarkable building block, but I think the league will still need to do proper work on multiple fronts to bolster the reputation and recognition of the league. CR7 is the most followed athlete on social media in the world, presenting Serie A an incredible opportunity to improve their marketability on all social media platforms.
It’s still hard to process of all it but it is certainly a pleasure to welcome Cristiano Ronaldo to Serie A. One of the greatest footballers of all time will be plying his trade on the Italian peninsula.