What Does Cristiano Ronaldo’s Move To Juventus Mean for Real Madrid?4 min read
So… it finally happened.
Cristiano Ronaldo is no longer a Real Madrid player, despite professing to want to retire at the club when he was 41, or thereabouts.
“I’m happy here and want to stay here,” he was quoted as saying when signing his last contract renewal.
However, it would appear, if rumours are to be believed, that an uplift on that contract, or more accurately the lack of one, is behind what can only be described as the transfer of the century.
At 33 years old, one might normally be considered ‘past their peak’ in general terms, but Ronaldo’s physical condition belies his age. He’s not joking when he says he feels 23.
A fee of €105 million and wages of €30m per season net means that he hasn’t come cheaply for Juventus, but the ‘bianconeri‘ will surely recoup a sizeable chunk in shirt sales and sponsorship deals.
Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, recently spoke of the move being a “new challenge in his brilliant career.”
Having won the Champions League with Manchester United, and multiple times with Real, what price a hat-trick with another club?
Following the signing, Juve are from 12s to win the European Cup next season.
For someone who thrives on proving the doubters wrong, it’s easy to understand why Ronaldo has decided to move now, his problems with Real notwithstanding.
The posturing at the end of each season, when he felt a new deal should be forthcoming, was getting a little tiresome, and with Real absolutely set on acquiring Neymar’s services, it’s not hard for one to conclude that this time, Florentino Perez decided to call Ronaldo’s bluff.
10 – Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 10 goals against Juventus in the Champions League, more than against any other opponent. Rumour. pic.twitter.com/eDE7at1Bqx
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) July 5, 2018
Whatever the whys and wherefores, losing arguably their best player as well as their legendary coach in the same summer, will hurt Real. Big time.
Julen Lopetegui, for all of his attributes, will still need time to bed in as the new man in charge, and Ronaldo’s departure only makes his honeymoon period even shorter.
If Paris Saint-Germain really won’t budge on either a Neymar or Kylian Mbappe sale, it leaves ‘Los Blancos‘ in something of a quandary too.
Perhaps Karim Benzema would thrive again as the main target man, but he’s so devoid of confidence that’s unlikely.
Gareth Bale will almost certainly stay now, but he’s no centre-forward, so their top-class attacking options are somewhat limited.
Ronaldo contributed 44 goals again last season and none of his team-mates come close to that kind of output, not to mention what his departure will do for the equilibrium in the dressing room.
Last season domestically was very poor by Real’s standards, but the forthcoming campaign is shaping up to start off on an even worse footing.