Coming at the time it does the move makes sense for both clubs and the player.
451 goals in 438 games, 16 titles including four European cups, three of them consecutive and four in the last five seasons. These were just some of the words that were a part of the official announcement from Real Madrid on one of the most unexpected deals of modern-day football. Cristiano Ronaldo, seen as one of the key cogs of a Real Madrid side that has dominated European football for the last three seasons, finally decided that he needed a change of scenery.
Enter Juventus, a team that are well-known to be one of the shrewdest operators in the transfer market. The price was more than what they would have wanted to shell out, especially on a player who was 33. But, this is Ronaldo, a brand in itself, in addition to being a player that epitomised fitness, skill and an insatiable hunger to win.
So, just how doe Juventus and as a result Serie A benefit from this deal? How do they gain from making Cristiano Ronaldo the highest paid player in Serie A history? How do Madrid stand to gain from selling one of their biggest assets?
1. Additional revenue streams for the Bianconeri
It speaks volumes about just how England, Spain and Germany dominate the Forbes list of the richest football clubs in the world, that Juventus are the only Italian club that appear in the top 10, while the laggers in Roma, Milan and Inter are ranked beyond 15.
But Juventus have always been one if not the sole flagbearer of Italian football in Europe for years. And this signing of Cristiano Ronaldo is no different. He will no doubt be wearing the famed #7 jersey for the Old Lady which in itself will account for a large portion of jersey sales across the globe, thus creating an alternative revenue stream for the club. Not to mention the increase in Juve’s stock price by nearly 40% when rumours of the transfer began floating across the world.
Pundits guffawed over how a Serie A club, especially one with Juventus’ value-for-money transfer policy would be willing to shell out this much money on a single player. However, steam has picked up on the rumours that Juventus’ owners i.e the Agnelli Family, who own 29.88% of Fiat Automobiles, helped finance the transfer. The Fiat Group also owns the exclusive rights to the Ferrari brand name. Ronaldo’s arrival as possible brand ambassador for Ferrari, could be a huge marketing boost for Ferrari and consequently the Fiat brand.
This transfer has larger commercial implications for the Italian champions than that of his on-pitch impact and given the years of austerity and financial prudence shown by the Old Lady of Turin, it has given them room to splash out big money for a top player.
2. The start of the re-building job at Real Madrid
The core of the Real Madrid side that has won three consecutive Champions League titles has been nearly the same in this period. The spine of Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Cristiano Ronaldo helped Los Blancos sweep all in front of them. However, signs of staleness had started to creep in especially for Ronaldo who looked jaded in the league for Madrid.
It sparked off a set of rumours that Ronaldo would be on the lookout for a fresh challenge after the World Cup. In addition, Zinedine Zidane’s exit from Madrid after delivering his third Champions League was the final sign that the summer would kicks-tart the formation of Real Madrid 2.0 and Ronaldo’s exit would be imminent given his allegedly strained relationship with club president Florentino Perez.
The transfer to Juventus, a club that generally prides itself on value-for-money signings, is one that is a calculated risk by the Turin side considering their intent to enter the elite super-club group in Europe and also win the Champions League.
For Real, it takes a sizeable load off their wage bill and also gives them a profit of 25m for a player who is 33. It opens the door for them to flex their muscles with the additional capital from the sale to go after high-profile targets like Neymar, Kylian Mbappe or Eden Hazard who would be key to refreshing a side that has no intention of stopping their winning ways.
1. Juventus gain a serial Champions League winner
The loss of Gianluigi Buffon from the Juventus ranks is one that cannot be replaced by any means. The veteran was an ever-present in the Juve ranks and was a serial winner in the Italian game, both at domestic and international level. However, he was also part of those Juventus teams that stumbled at the last hurdle in the biggest competition in club football, the Champions League.
Now, in Ronaldo, they have someone who has won the trophy five times in his glittering career, four of those in the last five years for Madrid. He will no doubt be bringing this experience to Vinovo and with this being a fresh start for him, he will look to win the Champions League yet again and join an elite list of players who have the competition with three different clubs.
Ronaldo as a player has always been one who has strived for perfection and constant improvement. His move to Turin will be one where he will want to prove to his doubters that he can still cut it at the age of 33 and deliver the biggest prize in European club football to the Old Lady’s trophy cabinet.