Just a few weeks after Lionel Messi, now it is Cristiano Ronaldo’s turn to change clubs. The two biggest stars in world football will join new teams in the same transfer window after Juventus confirmed that Ronaldo will be leaving the Italian giant.
“Cristiano told me that he has no intention of playing for Juventus. For this reason, you will not be in the template for [Saturday’s] “Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri told the media at a pre-match press conference on August 27.” He did not train, he emptied his locker and greeted his teammates. “
And so, with one year remaining on his Juventus contract, the 36-year-old Ronaldo will embark on a new adventure with the apparent destiny being Manchester, and his former club, Manchester United, is said to be on the run after. of supposedly. interested from Manchester City. With the closing of the European transfer window on August 31, the picture will clear up soon.
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Why is Ronaldo leaving Juventus?
Juventus are once again the favorites to win the Italian league title in the season that has just started and the club is also expected to make a deep run in UEFA Champions League competition. So why would Ronaldo leave one of the most storied clubs in Europe?
Although Ronaldo has delivered in a big way since joining Juventus, both on and off the pitch, his departure works for both the player and the club.
Why a move makes sense to Ronaldo: Although Juventus have elite talent, it is clear that the club is not on the same level as Chelsea, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich in the race to win the UEFA Champions League. Ronaldo is a five-time Champion of the Champions League and with two more titles would set the all-time record for European club championships for one player. With 134 goals and counting, he already has the most goals of any player in the competition’s history.
Ronaldo cares about his brand and his legacy and wants to be the best of all time. If he can spend the next two or three seasons with a team that can help him win the big trophy and outshine Messi and PSG, he could still shape the narrative for how he will be remembered. It was not going to happen at Juventus.
Juventus perspective: Ronaldo is a goal scoring machine and was the top scorer in Serie A last season. His 101 goals in 134 appearances for Juve, the fastest player on 100 goals in club history, helped Juventus win all three national titles during his time at the club. But the Turin-based team did not acquire Ronaldo for $ 120 million in 2018 to win in Italy.
The Bianconeri had hoped Ronaldo would beat them to win their first UEFA Champions League title since 1996. It hasn’t happened (three different coaches in three seasons didn’t help) and Juventus have suffered knockout round losses in each of their matches. three seasons, never reaching the semifinals. Reports suggest that Ronaldo took Porto’s knockout knockout in March especially hard, and less than six months later he’s coming out.
There are also off-the-field considerations. Given the revenue challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, an estimated $ 235 million budget shortfall this season, and Ronaldo’s $ 100 million a year cost to the club between his salary and the amortization of his transfer fee, Moving on also makes sense from a financial point of view.
The 2018 acquisition of Ronaldo certainly helped elevate the Juventus brand – the club has a higher international profile, double the number of followers on social media, and leveraged Ronaldo for significant increases in revenue and partnerships. But the pandemic has changed the club’s financial prospects and, on the pitch, Juventus is rebooting and getting younger. The timing for a Ronaldo transfer works across the board.
What happens now?
There were early indications that a summer move was a real possibility from before Euro 2021. It was then that reports began to emerge about the need for Juventus to transfer Ronaldo to balance budgets, there were images of moving trucks hauling their cars away from his home in Turin, and there was also the Instagram post it really felt like goodbye.
As the summer weeks passed, new rumors of possible interest from Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain emerged, depending on how the dominoes fell with the possible transfer of young French star Kylian Mbappé. Ronaldo’s outraged Instagram post In response to all that transfer talk, he dropped mention of his commitment to spending his final season with Juventus.
But on the day of the club’s first Italian Serie A match of the new season, Juventus bosses and their head coach indicated that Ronaldo was going nowhere, seemingly ending the drama. Juve head coach Allegri said Ronaldo told him at the time that he was going to stay. But then “the transfer market happened,” as Allegri put it. “The situation has changed and we have to accept it.”
That change is likely related to Manchester City missing number one goal Harry Kane, who opted to stay at Tottenham Hotspur this summer. Manchester City were reportedly targeting Ronaldo to fill the role of center forward Kane would have filled. The reigning English champions led by Pep Guardiola have often operated without a true central striker, with a large number of attackers taking the position last season and midfielders also taking the slack on the goal scoreboard. Ronaldo could fit in very well with the number of scoring chances Manchester City generates. And Manchester City, a 2021 Champions League finalist, are eager to win their first European title. So ambitions line up too.
But Latest reports indicate that Manchester United He’s not about to let that happen and the Red Devils are now the ones looking for a deal to bring him back to Old Trafford. Ronaldo became a world star and Manchester United icon during his six seasons at the club. Joining Man City would have been considered a betrayal by United fans. Former Man United teammate and current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke about his club’s interest.
“He is a legend of this club, the best player of all time, if you ask me,” Solskjaer told the media on August 27 after the news that Ronaldo was leaving Juventus. “He knows how we feel about him. If he was ever going to get away from Juventus, he knows we are here ”.
It’s a move that could be the end of a storybook for Ronaldo’s European career. Manchester United will also participate in the UEFA Champions League, competing in a group that does not appear to be as tough as Manchester City on paper. With Ronaldo, the Red Devils would be a serious contender to win their first Champions League trophy since 2008 with Ronaldo. His last Champions League final was in 2009, Ronaldo’s last season with Manchester United before being transferred to Real Madrid.
The question will be the transfer fee for Ronaldo, who will soon turn 37, with reports pegging that number at $ 30 million, although Juventus is apparently hoping for $ 35 million so as not to lose money on Ronaldo’s operation. It’s not a huge discrepancy to ruin a deal. Now that Ronaldo has said goodbye and has apparently hopped on a plane outside of Italy, a resolution seems like a formality. The only question is whether Ronaldo will wear a red or blue jersey.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.