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Dhaka Tribune

The breakup story of Ronaldo and Juve, alike Messi and Barca

Recently, the 36-year old megastar joined his old club Manchester United and failed to add any Champions League trophy to the coveted cabinet of the Bianconeri during his time

Update : 29 Aug 2021, 08:47 PM

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the modern greats and often hailed as the Greatest Of all Time by his supporters, whose number is not millions but billions, yet his story with Juventus, the most successful club of Italy finished without much success.

Recently, the 36-year old megastar joined his old club Manchester United and failed to add any Champions League trophy to the coveted cabinet of the Bianconeri during his time. 

It was thought the outfits of the Turin roped him in three years ago to get the title for the first time since 1996. Yet, the club not only failed to get that but also missed the Serie A title last year, a title which was almost guaranteed over the last decade.

Does it portray the failure of one of the modern greats? The answer is a big NO.

The legendary footballer, who has already scored 783 goals in senior level football, has also returned with a whopping 101 goals in 138 goals for the Italian side. 

Before his €100 million signing, Juventus had just over 49 million followers across their social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram). That figure has now more than doubled (112.7m), and the resulting boom has, unsurprisingly, made the club far more attractive to investors. 

In January 2019, the Bianconeri signed a new, improved, seven-year sponsorship deal with their kit manufacturer, Adidas, worth €357m (£308m/$395m) – twice the value of the previous agreement – and that partnership has since been extended until 2026-27. 

In addition, Juve have benefited from a €28m (£21m/$30m) increase in the annual value of their contract with shirt sponsors JEEP, from €17m (£15m/$19m) to €45m. 

This was 'The Ronaldo Effect' in action. Juve's profile has increased enormously due to its association with the 'CR7' brand.

However, these figures came at a price and the Italian outfits were looking to regain their position as European elites as its President Andrea Agnelli expressed that they want to reach the height of the likes of Real Madrid and sign the next ‘Ronaldo’ at the age of 23 rather than 33. 

But, the things did not go according to plan as they had to endure a loss of $48m in the first year after Ronaldo was signed. 

In October 2019, after asking the club's shareholders to approve a €300m (£340m/£260m) capital increase in October, Agnelli stated, "These numbers seem enormous when compared to the Italian reality, but our point of reference is the great European clubs.

"Our current level of turnover, excluding the transfer of players, is about the level of turnover that Real Madrid had when I took over the presidency of Juventus in 2010.

"It is clear that the growth rates we have developed have been higher than those of Real Madrid but there is still a gap, which we must obviously fill,” said Agnelli. 

Also Read: Ronaldo thanks Juventus fans for beautiful journey

And then came the pandemic. It is true every European Club had to face the dent but a $400m for CR7 (in transfer fee and wages) proved too much.

One must say, it was not the fault of the superstar but the club was put in a vicious cycle whether to spend a massive amount of $103m for the megastar in post-pandemic era.

In the end the club decided they must get off the burden of that huge expense and rather channel that money for building a side for future. For the same reason they could not rope in Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. The Old Ladies are simply unable to bear the cost of massive wage for the keeper who joined Paris Saint Germain as a free agent from AC Milan. 

But one thing must be emphasized. It was not the annual wage bill of $71m that was the chief reason for the disdain of Italian club. Rather, it was their high ambition and spendthrift attitude of roping in many mediocre players for high fees and wage and rather reckless attitude to over growing debt that caused myriads of hole in the ship.

And the Covid-19 storm sunk the ship.

Ironically, the fate seems to be same for Ronaldo and his greatest competitor Lionel Messi. Perhaps the presence of those superstars made their respective clubs careless. Probably they were trying to hide their impotence under the shadow of these two giants. But, in the end was exposed and drowned.

It was not by any means the fault of those great players, rather it shows they are so big as enterprise that they may withstand giant –sized organizations single-handedly for years. 

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