Ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo’s home debut for Juventus in Serie A, the club’s rivals are hoping that CR7 is more ultimate flop than Mr Fantastic
Branded the signing of the century by Italian media, Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus is the kind of transfer that excites fans almost as much as winning trophies. It means power, prestige, strength, quality and the cutting edge that could lead to the Serie A side lifting the Champions League, Juventus’ obsession. But it could also be a failure, if the ultimate European trophy is not delivered.
Cristiano Ronaldo cost Juventus $120 million for the signing, plus $65 million per season to the player. A lot of money. Seeing as the Bianconeri have won seven titles in a row, including four doubles, with the likes of Alessandro Matri and Mirko Vucinic up front, Ronaldo is here to deliver more. It has to be a European trophy.
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) August 21, 2018
Ronaldo surely lifts Juventus into the ultimate circle of elite European clubs. He does so for image reasons, for marketing and branding, for the media machine that he brings with him. And all of this is great. But we’re still talking about football, aren’t we? The aim is still to score goals and lift trophies, right? Well in this case, Ronaldo’s aim has to be the Champions League.
Winning another domestic double will not be enough. Juve managed that with Carlos Tevez, and Gonzalo Higuain. Those are the players who got the Bianconeri to a Champions League final, but failed to lead them to victory. Juventus – the club and fans – want that trophy more than anything else. And they’ve gone all in: paying a 33-year-old this much, for immediate results. The Champions League, the obsession: that is the aim.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 24, 2018
You might have noticed that “Champions League” has been repeated relentlessly in this article. It is because it really is the utopian obsession of Juventus fans. And Ronaldo is the alien who can descend from he skies and turn it into reality. The Bianconeri have lost five finals since their last victory in 1996. Unreal.
Ronaldo is here to change this and show it was he himself who gave Real Madrid the added value, and not vice versa. If he doesn’t manage to give Juventus the trophy in his spell in Turin, his legacy will have to be seen as a failure. Ultimately – aside from raising brand awareness of the club – he has been brought in to make a difference on the ultimate stage. It’s victory, or bust.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) August 20, 2018
But anti-Juve fans can hope for even more. Juventus are huge favourites to win another domestic double this season. But what if – for whatever reason – they don’t manage it? What if another club wins Serie A? What if Cristiano Ronaldo ends his first season at Juve with, say, only a Coppa Italia title? That would be quite funny, to say the least.
It’s the ultimate nightmare for Juve fans, the ultimate dream for everyone else. With Ronaldo, Juventus are obliged to win the Champions League. If they don’t, it’s a failure. And if somehow they also don’t win the Serie A title, this could go down in history as one of the biggest anticlimaxes ever.