We were still enjoying the World Cup fever when a piece of shocking news in the form of Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid for Juventus earlier this month hit us. Now, we decide to address it with the conclusion of the FIFA World Cup.
When Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United for Real Madrid in 2009, he filled the role of a Galacticos signing. Many die-hard Madrid fans saw Ronaldo retiring in a Real Madrid uniform. He was undoubtedly their best player throughout his time there, collecting accolades after another: 2 La Liga titles, 4 Ballon d’Ors, 4 Champion League Titles, 2 Spanish Cup, 2 Spanish Super Cups, 3 FIFA Club World Cups, 3 UEFA Super Cups, 3 UEFA Best Player in Europe and countless Top Scorers.
Ronaldo has hinted at an exit since 2017, after failed contract negotiations and financial reasons.
But the underlying reason is his age. At age 33, Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez did not think that Ronaldo could still be performing at a superstar level in the very near future. Ronaldo felt that he could. Both men disagreed on that point, which led to his exit to Juventus.
What Does it Mean for Real Madrid
Ronaldo, at age 33, was still producing at a spectacular rate and scoring spectacular goals.
Now, someone else has to fill that role and spotlight. Face it, Ronaldo was a headliner and him leaving this team, even for a team as popular as Real Madrid, is a gap that is hard to fill.
But Real Madrid does have options.
They have and had been linked to a couple of superstar players like Neymar Jr, up-and-coming Kylian Mbappe, Robert Lewandowski, Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah and Eden Hazard. Hazard seems the most likely of them all.
Alternatively, they still have players on their roster to fill that role right now. Gareth Bale’s impressive Champion’s League Final showcase suggests that possibility at age 29. Or Karim Benzema’s steady exploit could see a rise in touches to create more chances for himself.
If they are looking for younger replacements, Isco, at 26, has shown promising wizardry with the ball. Or the rising young star in Marco Asensio could also take the Bernabeu by storm with more touches and opportunities.
What Does It Mean for Juventus
Make it rain! Ronaldo is a commercial magnet and his stature generates revenue like no other. His jersey alone sold over $60 million in just a day. This means they will stand to make more money than they lost in their pursuit of Ronaldo.
Also, they have to start building a team for both present and future.
Ronaldo is getting up there in age but he still has a window of opportunity to carry this team deep into the Champions League tournament.
Buffon’s exit, even at age 40, still hurts. He is and was a great goalkeeper who more often than not, kept Juventus’ goal solidly. While Dybala, Mandzukic and Higuain can form a formidable attacking formation for Ronaldo, the team is still a step down from Real Madrid.
Juventus have been aggressively making moves for Godin but more might be required if they wish to go all the way with Ronaldo.
There have also been rumours that link to some of the Juventus players’ exit. From Higuain to Rugani, any exit without a valuable player in return could reduce the quality of the team.
Also, Ronaldo’s playing style may not go well with many. There will be some difficult adjustments needed for his new teammates or by himself.
With Ronaldo’s attention-grabbing stature, Juventus would now be scrutinised more so than ever.
What Does It Mean for La Liga
When one of the top teams in the league loses a player of Ronaldo's stature, his fans will leave the league along with him. This means a drop in views and revenue Also, the classical El Clasico clash will lose some value and hype as the headlines of Ronaldo vs. Messi vanishes in La Liga as well. There's no question Ronaldo was one of the main appeals of La Liga and now, they only have Messi to look to.
But Messi also lost something here - one of his strongest rivals that pushes him to his limit every night. While both men can choose to deny their rivalry, it has, without a doubt, motivated them to perform better.
What Does It Mean for Ronaldo
Ronaldo is betting on himself. He is one of the most scrutinised football players in the world, which comes with the pressure of being one of the best. (His looks and physique helps with the attention as well)
This means his performance at Juventus, particularly in the UEFA Champions League, would be more important than ever. He has to show the world and Real Madrid that he is still one of the best players in the world and he could still dominate like no other.
At his age, most players start to decline but Ronaldo believes he has Father Time beat. His physique and work ethic do suggest the longevity you don’t see in many players. His work of art is comparable to Lebron’s exploits in the NBA, with both men being similar in age.
We, at Sports Utopia, wish him the best and we hope to see him beat Father Time like none has.
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