Tuesday July 17 2018
Why did Ronaldo join Juve?

Cristiano Ronaldo is officially a Juventus player, so why did Real Madrid sanction the sale of their greatest-ever goalscorer? Football Espana’s Livio Caferoglu has the answers…

The date is June 16, 2017. Real Madrid have just won their first European Cup and League double for the first time in 59 years, with Cristiano Ronaldo predictably playing a key role. Yet it is on this day that two of Portugal’s biggest sports newspapers reported the 33-year-old had made an ‘irreversible decision’ to leave Los Blancos. In an era where such headlines could easily be dismissed, there was far more to them than met the eye.

Despite Ronaldo having the time of his life on the field, things took a rather sinister turn off it. Just weeks before he scored a brace against Juve in the 2017 Champions League Final, which Madrid won 4-1, the Portuguese was accused of defrauding Spain’s tax authorities to the tune of €15m. It is claimed the country’s treasury wanted to make an example out of the 33-year-old, so as to deter other high-profile figures from any creative accounting.

To add more fuel to the fire, the former Manchester United attacker had reportedly felt distance and lack of protection and distance from Madrid. Their stance came in stark contrast to that of Barcelona when Lionel Messi faced a similar ordeal. Whereas Los Merengues put out a measly 93-word statement in defence of Ronaldo, the Blaugrana went as far as launching a support campaign with the hashtag #WeAreAllLeoMessi after he was given a 21-month suspended prison sentence for tax fraud.

If that wasn’t enough for a breakdown in Ronaldo’s relationship with Madrid, there was more. President Florentino Perez promised Ronaldo a new contract after Madrid clinched their 12th European Cup last year. The Euro 2016 winner may have already been earning a handsome sum, but his on-pitch achievements deserved to make him the world’s best-paid footballer. Instead, Neymar and Lionel Messi went on to dwarf their arch-rival, who in turn was never given an improved deal.

The final nail in the coffin came towards the end of last season, when speculation intensified that Madrid were preparing to break the world transfer record again for Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar. Los Blancos already appeared to have one eye on life after Ronaldo when they splashed out €100m on Gareth Bale in 2013, only for the Portuguese to delay that transition with goals galore. However, having turned 33 in February, there would’ve been no coming back from the Brazilian taking his place.

Ronaldo’s powers looked to have evaded him once and for all midway through the 2017-18 campaign after just four goals in his first 14 League games, while Zinedine Zidane was busy singing Neymar’s praises, at a time when the Frenchman also didn’t hesitate to rest his talisman. However, like so many times before, the No 7 silenced all his critics as he ended the season in unstoppable form. It may have also given Madrid a false sense of security over keeping him – but hindsight proved the 33-year-old had other ideas. 

Indeed, it became abundantly clear that this term would be his last in a Madrid jersey after he opened the door to an exit immediately after the side beat Liverpool for a third consecutive Champions League in May. Given the nine years of sterling service that Ronaldo had given the club, they had no choice but to give their blessing to a transfer and did so by slashing his release clause from €1bn to €120m, even if they demanded him to announce that leaving was his decision.

The clause reportedly did not apply to United and Paris Saint-Germain, not that Juve will particularly care. Madrid’s loss is certainly their gain.

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Have your say...

on the 25th July, 2018 at 4:35pm
There is a lot of confusion in the transfer market news right now, but it looks like JUVENTUS are thinking about a GODIN _ CHIELLINI central defenders partnership.

If rumours about David Luiz are true, he could fill in the Pirlo role.
on the 22nd July, 2018 at 4:03pm
Until Juve play the first competitive minute, it's impossible to call signing Ronaldo a bad deal. Players leaving is no different from any other year where we can't hold on to star players, at least when the most likely departures so far are Higuain and Rugani. Selling Pjanic is unlikely, but nobody is irreplaceable in any case.

After so many years of success by this management, Juve fans STILL question their best decisions? I'm glad none of you run this great club.
on the 20th July, 2018 at 10:05am

The money tree you speak of is apparently Ronaldo himself. Even at 33, he's the favourite for the Ballon D'Or and at worst 1 of the 2 most marketable players in the football world currently. Besides, if no other team has proven that age is but a number, it's Juve.

I wouldn't know if Ronaldo can deliver CL glory on a plate, but among all others, who do you seriously think would be better? Wherever you got the idea that this is a bad deal, that's only true if you're Real Madrid.
on the 20th July, 2018 at 9:56am
Hahahahha this person cant even read and understand hahahahh carry on buddy u are obviously the smartest person around here hahahhahahah !!!!
on the 19th July, 2018 at 8:04pm
I actually laughed out loud at the comment that Ronaldo is retiring in Serie A. ANY played who's come to the league says it's really hard work. Matuidi thanked Juve to working him more than anywhere else. Tevez and others the same. CR7 won't rest here. And comparing it to China or MLS is crazy...Juve were a Ronaldo short of the CL. It's time to grab it for the retirement home...Ridicoli. Forza Juve! They should sell bitter lemons outside the stadium for rival fans; make more than CR7 shirt sales
on the 19th July, 2018 at 6:38pm
@Anonymous (the one who responded to me)..
Sausage, if they are selling to pay for the mess they will put them selves in to bring Ronaldo how are they going to buy? Money trees? Are you part of the british brexit team by any chance. Remember 33 no 20...
on the 19th July, 2018 at 5:55pm
Never thought (though signed him myslef on FIFA Football every season !) would happen ... The respect he got in Turin from Turin crowd in UCL was a huge factor in Ronaldo's decision. Also, the fee (less than other clubs would have paid). Sadly, probably 'Ciao ' now to Higuain - hopefully recoup a good fee back on him .., though not too many main XI players should have to follow - to comply with FIFA Fianacial Fair Play rules .. I personally would love to see Mbappe sign &/or Pogba reurn too ...
on the 19th July, 2018 at 4:51pm
@ anoni: Not only will they sell Rugani Higuain Pjanic and Dybala, they will also sell Alex Sandro, Caldara, Douglas Costa, Bentancur, Khedira, Bernardeschi, Mandzukic, Chiellini and Cuadrado! They will be replaced by primavera players. Sacrifices have to be made to accommodate the best player in the world.
on the 19th July, 2018 at 9:08am
@ anoni: Not only will they sell Rugani Higuain Pjanic and Dybala, they will also sell Alex Sandro, Caldara, Douglas Costa, Bentancur, Khedira, Bernardeschi, Mandzukic, Chiellini and Cuadrado! They will be replaced by primavera players. Sacrifices have to be made to accommodate the best player in the world.
on the 19th July, 2018 at 9:07am

Juventus sold a ridiculous amount of Cristiano Ronaldo shirts in just 24 Hours!!!!

on the 19th July, 2018 at 1:41am
Zidane to Juventus

Fast forward two decades and Juve appear determined to match the likes of European superpowers Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG and Bayern Munich once again by investing heavily in the squad this summer.

Noi Siamo La Juventus

on the 19th July, 2018 at 1:31am
Currently RONALDO is the best player in the world.

JUVENTUS has plenty and outstanding players in its squad, and will add more Top Players soon.

All the juventini are absolutely happy with the way things are shaping up.

Even Jose Mourinho says:

" Ronaldo can change Serie A in terms of quality, emotions and exposure.

For this reason, I congratulate Juventus for this coup, which involves football, marketing and merchandising. It’s the complete transfer."
on the 19th July, 2018 at 1:14am
@anini sooo you think they are not going to buy players if they sell players hahahahha FI stop posting dumb comments pls. The transfer window still has over a month to go hahahaha juve have done exceptionally well so far and jeez it doesnt even make sense to continue. Carry on losers and complainers carry on hahahahah !!!
on the 19th July, 2018 at 12:48am
How can no one see that by bringing this melon to Juve they now look like they'll be selling the whole team to pay for it! With Rugani going, Higuian will be sold, Dybala i believe will go and potentially Pjanic ia alittle extreme for a 33 year! Terrible move, for commercial and Business I see why but logic of losing 3 or 4 quality players for a 33 year old who wont play coppa italia, leagues games and champs league leaves the team short.
on the 18th July, 2018 at 11:28pm
They hate us because they aren't us!. We make money and the rest just languish in jealousy.
on the 18th July, 2018 at 11:00pm

Considering the great number of highly rated young talent currently in the league and how not only Juventus but even Roma have made European giants quake, no. I don't believe.

If it's no difference to you, go ahead and follow MLS/CSL instead. You don't seem like you have any attachment to Serie A anyway.
on the 18th July, 2018 at 7:53pm
I love Juve and love the signing. Unfortunately they'll struggle to start the season. Too many new faces to integrate with Can, Perin, Caldara, Spinazzola, CR7, Darmian/Godin (possibly), and Morata (hopefully) all new. That's a lot of moving parts and leaves several formations as options no matter what happens with Higuain & Rugani. Also, the writing is on the wall for Allegri. With Zidane coming on in October if the team starts slow we could see Zidane on the sidelines sooner rather than late
on the 18th July, 2018 at 6:51pm
I predict that this transfer will be total disaster for Juve. They must transform all there tactic for this ego player and will have many problems in dressing room. If they start bad Allegri will be fired quickly.
on the 18th July, 2018 at 2:17pm
CR7 set his own standards and destiny from an early age. He has focus, drive, passion, skills and a proven track record. He is a professional and a fine human being. Regardless of ALL opinions, he will succeed and will make every effort to take Juve to higher levels or at least, die trying! Kudos to him.
Some sadness for his Real departure but we have no idea of what transpired over the latter part of his tenure. This gives ample opportunities for Bale et al to shine. Good luck to all.
on the 18th July, 2018 at 12:24pm
don't you believe that ronaldo is retiring in the serie A and our beloved calcio is becomin just like the american season and the chinese football teams ?
on the 18th July, 2018 at 11:17am

CRISTIANO RONALDO is a Juventus player!

World at large learn to live with it!

The number 7 at Juventus is the Balon d'Or Cristiano Ronaldo!

Apparently next for Juve are ZIDANE as Executive Sporting Director + is son LUCA as goalkeeper of our B side!
on the 17th July, 2018 at 7:08pm
Who cares we are about to get lots of new fans hahahah you haters can hop on the bandwagon i doubt anyone would notice.hahahahah
on the 17th July, 2018 at 6:11pm
@Anonymous I believe that tax law is only valid for sponsor earnings. Like the deal he has with Nike etc. Not sure if it's valid for Italian sponsor deals tho, and the law does not effect his wages so he needs to pay normal tax on that.
on the 17th July, 2018 at 6:08pm
I suspect the Juve fans giving him a standing ovation after the wonder goal last year.
on the 17th July, 2018 at 4:33pm

Because it's true. While Ronaldo's ultimate decision was to leave Real, his choices are limited. No other possibility exists, especially not a sudden love for the old lady nor an urge to test himself in Italy.

Arguably, I think the article doesn't go deep enough. Then again, any deeper and it's more a conspiracy. Ronaldo's here, I'm happy, and that's all I care about. If he lasts his contract length acting professionally then I ask nothing more.
on the 17th July, 2018 at 3:55pm
Dont forget also the new italian law that meant foreign nationals only pay tax on the first 100,000 euros of income earned abroad.... thats the biggest reason.
on the 17th July, 2018 at 3:47pm
For the record Messi is better! If you have 10 men circled around you like you are Jesus Christ it is fairly easy to be top scorer. Messi may not have cut it at international level but the team isn't set up for Messi. Ronaldo has the interior set up around him and only him. Portugal have won more without him and I believe they would have got further in the world cup without him. His record is astonishing, no question, but no player can get away with wasting as much as he does either.
on the 17th July, 2018 at 3:30pm
An ego the size of Portugal, I ask myself the same question as this article!
He is trying to do what Maradona did with Napoli. After years of Juve failing to win the Champions League he believes that with him they will have final piece to actually win and then say it was all because of his presence.
Also Juve don't have the names that Real do, at 33 he wouldn't be able to be classed as the best at Real for much longer but at Juve he can be a star even at 90!
It's all money and ego! Simple!
on the 17th July, 2018 at 3:22pm
Ronaldo wants to prove he is the best ever. Moving to Juventus and Italian football gives him the oppurtunity to display he is a winner across four European Leagues. Adding to an already decorated career that he is the ultimate footballer who is more versatile and adaptable than all other modern greats, including Messi. If Ronaldo was to somehow deliver Juventus the CL holy grail, could their be no doubt he truly is the GOAT?
on the 17th July, 2018 at 1:24pm

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