Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure for Manchester United undoubtedly leaves a weaker proposition for Juventus on the pitch, but his departure shouldn’t cause too many tears in Turin as a costly experience comes to an untimely end.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri almost shrugged his shoulders on Friday when he told the world the five-time Ballon d’Or winner wanted to leave after three seasons in Italy, simply saying “life goes on” looking like someone. one who had made peace with separation.
It was in stark contrast to the fanfare that hosted the most expensive transfer in Italian football history in the summer of 2018, the shock signing of one of the greatest players in football history presented as the missing link between national domination and European glory.
Juve are the most supported club in Italy, but although they have won by far the most Serie A titles, they are lagging behind the Milan giants in terms of continental success.
Last crowned European champion in 1996, the ‘Old Lady’ reached the Champions League finals in 2015 and 2017, and once Ronaldo arrived in Turin, hopes were that they could do better. with the competition’s all-time top scorer in their attack.
However, they have failed to make it further than the quarter-finals since Ronaldo’s arrival and over the past two seasons have been knocked out by Lyon and Porto in the last 16.
During their time there, Juve also somewhat lost their way at the national level, ending last season 13 points behind league winner Inter Milan under rookie coach Andrea Pirlo and failing to qualify for the Champions League only on the last day of the campaign because Napoli failed to beat Verona at home.
Ronaldo was excluded from the 4-1 win in Bologna which saw Juve climb to fourth place and despite official denials of a definitive break between club and player he has been the subject of numerous speculation all summer.
– Financial problems –
He won two Serie A titles and an Italian Cup and reached 100 goals for Juve faster than any other player in the club’s history – topping the league’s scoring charts last season – but he he is unlikely to remain in the affection of Juve fans as he did. at Real Madrid and United, where he had his greatest successes.
Over the past two seasons at Inter Romelu, Lukaku has become a huge fan favorite, not only for his playing, but also for the way he has integrated in Italy, quickly learning the language and settling in life in Milan.
In contrast, Ronaldo has never really been in touch with Juve supporters, rarely speaking to the media, struggling to learn Italian and failing in Juve’s mission to win the Champions League.
For Juve, it is also practical to take Ronaldo’s reported take-home pay of € 31m ($ 36.6m) off the pounds as the club, like many others, face the damage caused by the pandemic. of coronavirus.
On Wednesday, Juve’s board of directors approved a capital increase of 400 million euros to stabilize the club’s finances in the face of the impact of Covid-19.
In February, Juventus said they suffered losses of 113.7 million euros in the second half of 2020, more than double the loss recorded in the same period of the previous year.
Income fell 20% during that period, with Juve attributing the reduction to the pandemic.
And in June, they estimated the cost of running the Covid for the club at 320 million euros.
Juve’s main goals to replace Ronaldo – Moise Kean and Mauro Icardi – are undoubtedly downgrades, but are capable strikers with experience in Italy who are unlikely to feel almost too big for the club, even considering of the difficult way Icardi left Inter for Paris Saint-Germain in 2019.
Allegri, meanwhile, said he said he should direct his attack, handing the captain’s armband to Paulo Dybala for Juve’s 2-2 draw against Udinese as he left Ronaldo on the bench.
© 2021 AFP