With Cristiano Ronaldo completing his transfer to Juventus, one of the worst pieces of business this century has been confirmed. Yes, I said one of the worst deals, because I’m afraid we’re facing a three-way scenario in which nobody wins. Time will tell…
Let’s start with Real Madrid:
Los Blancos lose 50 goals per season and a new opportunity to bid farewell to one of their legends how they deserve to do so. Like Raul and Iker Casillas in recent times, Ronaldo will leave through the back door. This time it’s not a farewell of a youth product but rather the most important figure in the history of the club along with Alfredo Di Stefano. He’s a player who has scored 451 goals in nine seasons, winning four Champions Leagues and four Ballon d’Or awards. He’s been an animal for Real, the like of which they won’t find again.
Madrid will sign one, two, three or four players to replace him but none who arrive will score 50 goals per year for nine seasons in a row. There must be a reflection on why this goodbye has been so ugly and hasty, especially as the economic factor of the deal seems to lack importance. 100 million euros is an extraordinary amount for a normal 33-year-old player, but not for Ronaldo. Legends don’t have a price.
Let’s continue with Cristiano Ronaldo:
The Portuguese forward is leaving because he’s angry. He doesn’t feel wanted by the club and doesn’t agree with his current salary. He feels mistreated with regards to his problems with the tax authorities, as if it had been Florentino Perez who had made the income statement incorrectly himself.
So why shouldn’t he leave? It’s his right to do so, but Cristiano should think that his status hasn’t been earned alone. He has had the biggest club on the planet and some spectacular teammates who have played with him: Ramos, Marcelo, Benzema, Modric and Casemiro.
Football is a team sport, not an individual one. Ronaldo will not score 50 goals per season at Juventus, he won’t play a single match with a potential audience of one billion viewers and he won’t see the sun every day in Turin. Yes, there may be positives which balance this out, but it’s undeniable this is a change for the worse.
Just as Real Madrid must reflect, so must Ronaldo and he should ask why Los Blancos have been willing to let him leave for 100 million euros? Why are there no demonstrations at the door of the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu protesting against the sale? Why does Madrid love Modric but not Ronaldo? The reality is that the club’s supporters have only fallen in love with his goals and not the person himself.
Let’s finish with Juventus:
The signing of the century is the line being followed in Italy. This is true in terms of impact with this a spectacular arrival, but for now it’s just that, impact.
Within a week the Italian club, who have struggled to raise the money, should begin thinking about how to swallow a deal the scope of a total 345 million euros (112m euros in a transfer fee and 60m euros gross in salary per season) for a player who will soon turn 34.
It’s true that the former Manchester United star is an impressive physical specimen, but let’s not forget that in the last season he missed seven LaLiga matches and six Copa del Rey matches because he needed to rest. At 33 his body needs to be rested in order to perform at key moments.
He hasn’t found the elixir of eternal youth, and Ronaldo, who has signed a four-year contract, will be within a year on his way to 35 and I understand that when you pay a player that kind of money, he has to play 50 matches a year. It should be like that.