Assessing the Impact of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Move from Real Madrid to Juventus
Published on July 11, 2018
When there is a major soccer tournament in the summer, like the 2018 World Cup, the transfer market is different. There are some big deals before the competition starts, and they are usually pre-agreed during the past season.
Once the World Cup is on, the transfers dry up, although not completely. This is only a temporary slowdown, and we’ve just seen one of the deals of the summer, even before the international tournament is finished.
One of the best players in the world and a favorite for the Ballon d’Or, Cristiano Ronaldo will leave Real Madrid and join the Italian giant Juventus.
A transfer of this magnitude will inevitably set up the scene for a bunch of other big moves and changes in the landscape of the top European leagues. It’s like the domino effect, and in this post, I will try to see why the transfer happened and what’s next for all sides involved.
Before I get into the deeper stuff, let’s take a look at some numbers so that you get an idea just how big the Cristiano Ronaldo transfer is.
According to the different sources, the transfer of Ronaldo will cost Juventus €100 – €120 million. I would suggest that the exact number will depend on certain add-ons related to the performance of the player and his new club during his time in Italy.
The deal is for the next 4 years. Since the Portuguese forward is already 33, it’s safe to assume that this will be the last competitive challenge in his career.
Sure, he could go to China or the USA at some point, but such a move would be mostly motivated by money.
We don’t exactly know Ronaldo’s future salary in Juventus, but he would certainly be one of the top earners in Europe, and rightfully so. The rumors are that he will be making something in the region of €30 million per season.
One would assume that Cristiano Ronaldo was pretty happy in Real Madrid. He was adored by the fans, he was being paid top dollar, and he won two La Liga titles, two Copa Del Rey trophies, and four Champions Leagues with Real Madrid.
In the process, the forward was able to score 450 goals in fewer appearances, and this helped him win a number of individual awards. Most notably, he has five Ballon d’Or awards, and this number could rise in 2018.
Both the club and the player have benefited greatly from their relationship. The big question is, why did it have to end?
I believe the answer is more obvious than most people think. I already mentioned that Cristiano is now 33, and this is an age where his performance is expected to decline.
Sure, he is one of the best athletes in the soccer world and works relentlessly to stay in top form. Even if this does help him extend his peak, he won’t be the same forever. We’ve already seen this in the last two La Liga seasons.
While the goal per game ratio stayed the same, Ronaldo played less than 30 games in each of them. This hasn’t happened since his first year with Real Madrid.
To an extent, this is related to some rotation by his coach Zinedine Zidane, but the trend was bound to continue, in my opinion.
As a result, the Real Madrid management probably realized that they will have to start thinking about the future. The whole team was set up to accommodate Ronaldo, and once he is past his prime, this would’ve affected the performance on the pitch.
This is why Real Madrid is looking around and making plans for the future. This teases Ronaldo’s ego, as he believes he should always be the main man.
According to most sources around him and the club, Ronaldo believes he has brought enough success and deserves the status of number 1.
While Real Madrid could’ve certainly guaranteed that for the next season, along with the appropriate salary, this is not a healthy long-term solution for the club. This is why the president, Florentino Perez, has been working on attracting other superstars, and Neymar has been linked with a Real Madrid move.
This left Ronaldo disappointed, and we saw some tension last summer, but his post-match interview after the Champions League final was a good indication of the things about to go down this year.
I feel that an exit was inevitable, as both club and player are too ambitious to compromise. It was the natural closure of a successful partnership, but what happens next?
Ronaldo has been Real Madrid’s top player for 9 years now, and the club will change dramatically. If you add the departure of Zinedine Zidane, we will obviously see a completely new era.
The new coach will be Julen Lopetegui, and the team will certainly make some HUGE transfers by the end of the window. The most logical choice is Neymar, as he is the perfect replacement for Ronaldo. The Brazilian is an exceptional player, while his superstar status will fit Real Madrid’s marketing strategy.
The club will have a lot of cash for both transfer fees and salaries and will certainly invest heavily. The odds for Neymar ending up in Real Madrid after the end of the transfer summer are 2.63.
I would say this represents a decent opportunity, as I can’t recognize another player that could replace Ronaldo better.
One of the possible developments is to actually go for an internal solution. Gareth Bale has been arguably sacrificed to accommodate Ronaldo in the past couple of years, but the Welshman has loads of potential.
He is 28 and in his prime and has shown the world how good he is with one of the most stunning goals in the history of the Champions League in the last season’s final.
Real Madrid could decide to build around him, but there are question marks over his fitness. Bale has struggled with injuries ever since joining the club, and this is a potential problem for the future.
Madrid will have to change the whole structure of the team, and this will affect them on the pitch. I don’t think they will be able to fight for the La Liga title.
At the same time, their main rival, Barcelona, has a bunch of problems of its own. Lionel Messi is not getting any younger, Andres Iniesta is now gone, and Paulinho is returning to China. The club lacks a much-needed depth, and despite the convincing title last season, I think Barcelona won’t collect as many points this year.
Under those circumstances, I can see something very interesting happening. Atletico Madrid has proven that it can match the two Spanish superclubs on the pitch.
Since they managed to keep Antoine Griezmann and have already bought the hot prospect Thomas Lemar, this could very well be their year.
I feel like Atletico is evolving gradually, unlike Barcelona and Real Madrid, and this could really work in their favor in the upcoming season.
I don’t know what other options were available to Ronaldo, but I think Juventus is the perfect choice. There were some rumors that his former club, Manchester United, was a possibility, but it doesn’t really make sense.
The Italians are a much better fit for a couple of reasons. For a start, they have been dominating the Italian Serie A for years now, and the league is slower compared to Spain and England.
As a result, the growing age of Ronaldo won’t be a big deal, and he will be able to play more games. Even if that’s not the case, Juventus could safely afford to rotate him and still get the domestic title rather easily. The competition is simply nowhere to be seen.
At the same time, Juventus has been a contender in the Champions League and has reached the late stage of the tournament in the past couple of seasons. The Italians didn’t manage to win the trophy, but that lack of an extra edge in finals and semifinals could be very well solved by Cristiano Ronaldo.
He is the leading scorer of the soccer Champions League and has won it five times, finding the net in the most crucial games on multiple occasions.
In my opinion, getting Ronaldo is an exceptional move by Juventus, and there’s only one question mark. The Portuguese certainly has two or three years at the top left in him, especially in Italy.
However, four might be a bit of a stretch with such a salary.
One of the most exciting questions will be related to the soccer transfer market across Europe in the summer. Such moves always have a lot of consequences and serve as a catalyst for multiple other deals.
For a start, Real Madrid is certainly preparing some big names. I already mentioned Neymar, but I think there will be other players in the mix as well. Each club that sells to the Spanish giants will then have a lot of cash to get some new guys as well.
On top of that, I expect Juventus to offload some of their players to make room for the huge Ronaldo salary and at least partially cover his fee. The likes of Dybala and Higuain are the most likely departures. Both will certainly attract a lot of clubs, and there are rumors already.
I would say that this could end up being one of the busiest transfer windows in years and can’t wait to see what happens next!
I will be watching the market closely, as I expect the action to explode once the soccer World Cup is over.
That was inevitable either way, but the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo would bring even more moves all over the place.
What do you expect to happen? Is there a specific player you would like to see in a certain club? Let me know in the comments section below!