The numbers encircling his career are breathtaking, so was his introduction to a fresh life at Juventus. Holding the number 7 shirt — a Juan Cuadrado commodity in the previous two seasons, Cristiano Ronaldo was standing tall and firm, disseminating his dignity and valour with a captivating grin at the last slope of his lips. As white as the driven snow, his glaring teeth were depicting his readiness to embark on a new quest with a new club.
Juventus had their new superstar, and it looked like a step forward for them in their long-standing purpose of turning the club into a global brand. The Old Lady had to pay an initial transfer fee of €100 million to secure the services of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid that summer.
It was also claimed back then that the fee could extend by an additional €12 million, owing to several other performance-related add-ons. However, considering every aspect, it was a bargain as the Piedmontese side seized the signature of one of the best players the world football has ever embraced with open arms.
Juventus had understandably decided to sign Ronaldo to win their third Champions League (their maiden one in the 21st century). And ever since joining Juventus in the summer of 2018, Cristiano Ronaldo has almost perfected three seasons in Italy, representing the prestigious crest of the black and white under three different managers — Massimiliano Allegri, Maurizio Sarri, and now Andrea Pirlo — over the course of this time. But, winning the Champions League with the club has remained a wild dream of a wild night.
With 97 goals and 22 assists from 128 matches for Juventus, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has always given his best or at least tried to do so. He is considered the best of the rest at Juventus and, in fact, in Serie A. And in case you don’t know, he is “the most effective dribbler in Serie A among forwards when combining frequency and efficiency“. So, what is going wrong now? Why are there clamours of his potential departure in the summer transfer window?
Juventus began the 2020-21 season with the aspiration of adding a 10th successive Scudetto to their trophy cabinet by the end of the campaign. With a young and inexperienced boss in Andrea Pirlo at the helm, the job was going to be harder, but that anticipation was not as dark as the club has ultimately experienced in reality.
Left behind in the Serie A title race for quite a long time back, they are now fighting for qualification in the season’s UEFA Champions League. Under Pirlo, Juve have won Supercoppa Italiana, and could even win Coppa Italia. But those trophies don’t or wouldn’t suggest any sort of collective progress within the team.
In the absence of Paulo Dybala — who was sidelined with a knee injury for the majority of the campaign, Cristiano Ronaldo has led Juventus’ hobbling attack from the front, scoring 32 goals from 39 games (as per Transfermarkt) so far.
He is the top scorer of the Serie A 2020-21, showcasing how much of an important role the Portuguese international has played for the Italian side this season. A conqueror by nature, Ronaldo might have thought that his individual effort would ultimately help Juventus go deep down into the Champions League as well. But apparently, that was a vague idea.
Juventus ended up getting knocked out by Porto over a two-legged tie in the Round of 16 of the elite competition. The elimination from the Champions League Round of 16 was Juve’s second time on the trot. That particular failure left Cristiano Ronaldo in utter discontent, and many believe that the disqualification was too much to take for the individual and the start of what we now see as Ronaldo’s reported intention to leave Turin this summer.
What is Cristiano Ronaldo’s current status at Juventus then?
Ever since Juventus got kicked out of this season’s Champions League, the clouds of uncertainty have surrounded Cristiano Ronaldo’s future in northern Italy. He has been linked with a summer to Manchester United, Real Madrid, and more widely Paris Saint-Germain. All of the aforementioned names are capable of affording Ronaldo’s expenses — even amidst the ongoing financial crisis, and that’s why they are in the discussion.
But, what is about Ronaldo’s current situation at Juventus? The 36-year-old has not been at his very best of late, missing a number of opportunities in their 1-1 draw against Fiorentina last week. He has now been without a goal or assist for three consecutive matches.
Now, a report from La Gazzetta dello Sport claims that Ronaldo seems “nervous, irritable and very distant from his teammates”. He has reportedly lost faith in himself, and we cannot argue the fact that in the middle of a poor run of results that Juventus have undergone recently, it is had to find an impetus, even for Cristiano Ronaldo.
He has now started getting exasperated and unveiling his frustration on the training pitches as well as during the matchdays. The report denotes that Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has been tasked with delivering him a new destination this summer. And irrespective of whether Andrea Pirlo remains the manager or gets replaced by his heir, potentially Massimiliano Allegri, Ronaldo is poised to leaving Juventus. And that appears to be his final decision.
How would Ronaldo’s potential departure affect Juventus?
Bound to Juventus’ terms until June 2022, the Funchal-born forward has almost a year left in his current contract, meaning Juventus could accumulate a reasonable transfer fee via his sale this summer.
A report from Spanish outlet AS understands that he could be sold this summer for a transfer fee of around €25 million, adding that the reigning Serie A champions will not force Ronaldo to stay if the sharpshooter wants to leave the club.
If that is true, then it would be a huge kick in the teeth of Juventus’ future ambitions. Both Serie A and Juventus have been benefitted from Ronaldo’s aura over the recent years years. It is well-known that the Portuguese’s name has been a financial help to Juventus and other teams currently playing in the same league. Spectators in abundance tune into Serie A, only to watch Cristiano play week in, week out.
His removal from the team will be a huge loss as far as Juventus’ overall revenue and the team’s collective strength are concerned. On the other hand, the Old Lady will then have a gigantic job of replacing an elusive figure like Cristiano Ronaldo, with their objective of winning a Champions League spinning further away from Juve’s grasp.