Ron­aldo’s win­ning move!

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Tanya Lee Tanya Lee is a Caribbean sports mar­keter, author, and pub­li­cist. Fol­low her @tany­at­tlee on In­sta­gram.

IT’S SIGNED, sealed and de­liv­ered to news­stands ev­ery­where this week! Cris­tiano Ron­aldo has made the move from Real Madrid, where he spent nine sea­sons, to join Ju­ven­tus for some 112 mil­lion eu­ros, mak­ing him the fourth most ex­pen­sive player in foot­ball his­tory! But the real ques­tion re­mains whether this was a win­ning move by Ju­ven­tus. I ac­tu­ally be­lieve it’s a great move for the Ital­ian club!

Now, the word is, it was Ron­aldo him­self who re­quested to be trans­ferred to Ju­ven­tus. There are some Madrid fans who ques­tion why CR7 would wish to leave Real Madrid in the first place. But it’s es­sen­tially the end of a golden era be­cause while Real Madrid is, in fact, the most suc­cess­ful club in foot­ball his­tory, and have in fact won the last three Cham­pi­ons League ti­tles, a fourth would be highly un­likely. With Ron­aldo and Zi­dane’s de­par­ture, we’ve pos­si­bly seen the end of that golden era.

It’s been nine glo­ri­ous years and Ron­aldo has achieved it all with Real Madrid. Nu­mer­ous Span­ish La Liga and UEFA Cham­pi­ons League ti­tles, nu­mer­ous golden boots, nu­mer­ous Bal­lon d’Ors and FIFA Best Awards have been won. And with con­stant whis­pers about Real Madrid’s front of­fice look­ing for re­place­ments for Ron­aldo (there is no such thing as a Ron­aldo re­place­ment, by the way), one gets the im­pres­sion he was grow­ing un­easy at the Bern­abéu. It makes one won­der what could pos­si­bly mo­ti­vate the colos­sal fig­ure to boot up for one more sea­son at a club where there is noth­ing else to prove. He made the move at the right time!

RIGHT PLACE

And he also made the move to the right place! Ron­aldo is the per­fect piece to the Ju­ven­tus puz­zle in their in­creas­ingly loud knock on the UEFA Cham­pi­ons League ti­tle door. They are just one player away from a Cham­pi­ons League ti­tle, and he’s that one player. Ron­aldo will fit per­fectly with Paulo Dy­bala, Juan Cuadrado, and Mario Mandzu­kic to cre­ate yet an­other suc­cess­ful chap­ter in foot­ball his­tory. Yes, he will be play­ing to tinier sta­dia than ex­ist in Eng­land and Spain, but I sus­pect the Ju­ven­tus fans will be quite wel­com­ing, es­pe­cially as he chose them. If last sea­son is any in­di­ca­tion, his ego will be stroked at the Al­lianz. When Ron­aldo scored the sen­sa­tional bi­cy­cle kick against Ju­ven­tus in their first leg Cham­pi­ons League en­counter, Ron­aldo got a stand­ing ova­tion from the Ju­ven­tus faith­ful.

Nowhere else would have pre­sented a good home at this time. The French League and Bun­desliga aren’t high profile enough. It would be blas­phemy to go to an­other Span­ish or English team, and he hasn’t hit the de­cline phase yet to merit ‘Ron­aldo is the per­fect piece to the Ju­ven­tus puz­zle in their in­creas­ingly loud knock on the UEFA Cham­pi­ons League ti­tle door. They are just one player away from a Cham­pi­ons League ti­tle, and he’s that one player.’ con­sid­er­ing the MLS or China. And as for Manch­ester United, I just don’t think the cur­rent team is good enough to con­tend for a Cham­pi­ons League ti­tle, and so that would be a lovely fairy tale for his fans, but a likely waste of his im­mense tal­ents. The Serie A is the per­fect place and the per­fect pace, a bit slower than Spain, but still chal­leng­ing enough for a man who rel­ishes a chal­lenge. Italy’s foot­ball also needs a su­per­star re­boot. Italy didn’t qual­ify for the 2018 World Cup, and out­side of Gian­luigi Buf­fon who is off to PSG, they haven’t had a player in the top foot­ball brands of the world re­cently.

As a ran­dom ex­am­ple, if you were to com­bine the fol­low­ers of Ju­ven­tus and all their play­ers com­bined, you would still not get to the 135 mil­lion fol­low­ers that Ron­aldo brings to the ta­ble. Ron­aldo is that mas­sive shot in the mar­ket­ing arm, tak­ing not only the goals with him but sin­gu­larly trans­port­ing the world’s most fol­lowed sports brand to Turin.

Fi­nally, prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant as­pect to Ron­aldo’s move to Italy is that he now has the chance to stand alone, as the best of this foot­ball era, hav­ing con­quered three of the globe’s top foot­ball leagues. That would cer­tainly sep­a­rate him from Lionel Messi, who hasn’t left the shores of Barcelona since he docked at the age of 13. Ku­dos to CR7 for not tak­ing the easy route. One Love.

RON­ALDO

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