While Ronaldo’s move to Serie A is a game-changer for Juventus, there could be a ripple effect on some Argentineans such as Higuain and Dybala
French hangovers are still being felt from the World Cup but perhaps the biggest transfer story of the summer is already complete as Cristiano Ronaldo finalized his €100 million move to Juventus.
Such a transfer is likely to spark a chain reaction of significant moves in the market but few can match the prolific Portuguese striker when it comes to headlines.
Real Madrid’s confirmation of the deal ahead of the World Cup final did its best to overshadow football’s showcase event and on Monday, Ronaldo was in Turin to complete his medical to close a sensational transfer.
Cristiano Ronaldo becomes only THE SEVENTH player to be assigned the #Juventus no.7 shirt since squad numbers were introduced in Serie A back in 1994. He follows; Angelo Di Livio, Gianluca Pessotto, Hasan Salihamidžić, Simone Pepe, Simone Zaza & Juan Cuadrado #CR7DAY pic.twitter.com/yhq4SbYBUJ
— Adam Digby (@Adz77) July 16, 2018
The 33-year-old Portugal forward leaves Madrid after nine years, having scored a club record 450 goals, winning four Champions League titles, two La Liga crowns and collecting five Ballon d’Ors.
It looked as though the Santiago Bernabeu would be where Ronaldo would hang up his boots for much of his time in Madrid but in search of a new challenge the Madeira-born legend has opted for Italy. At Juventus, after lifting seven straight Serie A titles, it is clear where that challenge lies – Ronaldo’s speciality, the Champions League.
But what does the superstar’s arrival mean for those at Juve?
Cristiano Ronaldo-Juventus: Juve have approved the plan to sell Higuain and Dybala to make room in their budget. Pjanic could stay if Fiat sponsors Cristiano.
TONIGHT meeting Florentino-Mendes
— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) July 5, 2018
Before the confirmation of Ronaldo’s arrival, reports had already surfaced that Juventus were planning to sell Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala in order to fund the move and while both leaving seems unlikely, Pipita’s relatively short spell in Turin could be coming to an end.
Dybala welcomed Ronaldo to the club via his Instagram and Higuain’s brother and agent Nicolas said, “It would be fantastic if he [Ronaldo] made a strike partnership with Gonzalo. They know each other so well, as they played about 80 games together [at Real Madrid].”
However, the truth is that Ronaldo’s transfer and contract will cost well in excess of €300 million and Higuain a 30-year-old striker, who is one of the club’s top earners and desirable to other clubs, will help to fund that.
55 goals in 105 appearances since his 2016 €90 million move has been a good return for Higuain but Ronaldo provides much more and with Chelsea interested, the Argentinian looks set to be sacrificed.
Six years younger than Higuain, there will be interest in Dybala too with Liverpool reportedly ready and suggestions he too could leave Juve but the potential of a Ronaldo-Dybala attack surely has too much potential to discard.
The thing that excites me the most about next season is the partnership of Ronaldo & Dybala. ??? pic.twitter.com/9ngdujFFzm
— Forza Juventus (@ForzaJuve2017) July 16, 2018
And away from Juve and even from Italy, Ronaldo’s move could have ramifications as Lionel Messi has lost his arch rival in La Liga.
The two seem destined to be forever entwined in their careers and even on his presentation in Turin, Ronaldo was made to answer a question on his old foe.
“I don’t see players as rivals. Everyone speaks about my rivalry with Messi, but everyone fights for their own club and that’s what I’ll do here. In the end we’ll look back and see who is the best.”
For any talk of Messi losing that competition from La Liga, the Argentinian captain would no doubt echo such sentiment. Ronaldo might be gone but Messi is not without motivation.
Another disappointing break with Argentina, the emergence in Russia of possible successors to the throne of world’s best player and now Messi must silence his critics once more. Barcelona have another title defence and will want to end Madrid’s dominance in the Champions League.