The rumblings had been on for some time, so it is no surprise that Cristiano Ronaldo is seeking a move from Real Madrid. What is surprising is that his move is to Juventus in Italy’s Serie A. Though he had hinted this in 2017 when he said, “To me, being the best means proving it in different countries and championships.”
However, if one were to look at the history of the game, where else could he have pitched his tent? From Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United to Real Madrid – it makes a lot of sense to make a move to another storied football establishment such as ‘La Vecchia Signora’ – the ‘Old Lady’ of Italian football.
Juventus just won their seventh consecutive Serie A title to make it 34 league titles. Juve have also won UEFA Champions League twice, the last time been 1996 and have been runners-up on seven occasions, the last in 2017.
Jorge Mendes told Portuguese paper, Record on Thursday, “If Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Real Madrid, he will remain eternally grateful to the club, the president, all the staff without exception, as well as the Madrid fans throughout the world.”
But that might be speaking with both sides of the mouth because Ronaldo said in January, “If I’m worth 100 million euros it’s that they don’t love me.” So what will Los Blancos lose in this sale despite the 100 million Euros they will get from Juventus for their talisman?
Economic power from Social Media Power
With a following of over 320 million people on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, CR7, Ronaldo’s brand, is a veritable one that is not in any way past its due date even at 33. With digital marketing power and the online influence Ronaldo possesses – 320 million to Real Madrid’s 200 million, the president, Florentino Perez will have to take some loss of revenue going forward.
The power that the Portuguese superstar has can be quickly explained by the gain in the Juventus’ share price since the news broke on June 2. The share price rose from 0.67 Euros to 0.82 Euros – that was just in three days. The total valuation thus rose from 665 million Euros to 825 million. With Amazon and Netflix and other brands exercising their power by acquiring online streaming rights to various European leagues – Juventus just got 300 million extra people to broadcast to – that is real power!
There are rumours Kylian Mbappe will make the shift from Paris to Madrid for over $250 million but whether he will be able to score the sheer amount of goals that Ronaldo plundered is a big question. Ronaldo was way better than the normal average of a goal every other game.
His record at the end of last season stood at 311 goals in 292 La Liga appearances – incredible! In the Champions League, he has also been spectacular, leading Real Madrid to four wins in his nine seasons with 105 goals in 101 games. His 34 hat-tricks in La Liga are the most by any player [including Lionel Messi] in Europe’s top five leagues.
|Ronaldo in the La Liga | A goal every 81 minutes|
Winning and Work Ethic
The story was told of Cristiano Ronaldo buying a table tennis set just because Rio Ferdinand beat him in a friendly game. That is how committed Ronaldo is to winning. He trained for two weeks and then invited Ferdinand for a return, in which he triumphed. His work ethic made him the player he is today said USA international, Jermaine Jones in an interview with The18. Jones said. “He’s always the one that’s first in the locker room, the last who left the locker room.” The washboard abs, the thick thighs, the free kicks and the stinging shots – all the work of endless practice.
One of his former managers, Carlo Ancelotti said he was surprised with his work ethic. “I knew the quality he had as I had seen him play and score goals but what has surprised me to an extent is his professionalism on and off the pitch,” Ancelotti said in 2014.
Mike Clegg, former Manchester United’s fitness and conditioning coach said Ronaldo “was the greatest trainer I ever worked with”. This is driven by Ronaldo’s conviction that he can always get better. “It is my conviction that there are no limits to learning, and that it can never stop, no matter what our age.”
Real Madrid will be losing a top professional, one whom younger players would have loved to learn from.
If he succeeds in moving to Italy to join Juventus – it will be a match made in fashion heaven – one big chunk out of the Real Madrid facade as the biggest team in the word. From his good looks, taste for fashion and ability with interviews, Ronaldo always adds glamour to any team he plays for. Madrid will lose that and Juventus will gain it. And Ronaldo is also a big fashion brand.
He has even worked as a muse for the famous Oliver Rousteing when he starred in a collaboration between Rousteing and NikeLab. He told Hghsnobiety in September 2017, “But you know, the future…it’s ripe.” That style future is waiting to ripen in the fashion capital of the world – Italy.
But the most important thing Madrid will be losing is the conviction and belief in himself to be the best of all time and thereby pushing his teammates and the whole team to do the same. “I know I’m a good professional, I know that no one’s harder on me than myself and that’s never going to change, under any circumstances.”