Ronaldo leaves Spain
The Ronaldo/Messi rivalry will now only exist in Champions League play if their respective teams are drawn together. The 33 year old Portuguese talisman is taking his talents to Turin. In joining Juventus, Ronaldo is embedding himself in an already proven team that has high potential of winning the Champions League in his first season.
Leaving Madrid was never going to be an easy decision. Since 2009, Ronaldo has scored more goals than he’s made appearances. 451 goals in 438 games. That stat is absolutely mind-boggling. He’s Real Madrid’s all time leading scorer and has led them to a Champions League title in 4 of the last 5 years. In addition to that, he has won the Ballon D’or 4 times and won La Liga twice while a member of Madrid.
The latest money report I saw was via the BBC, valuing the move at £99.2mil.
Ronaldo did the classy thing, and penned a letter to the Madrid fans. If you haven’t given it a read yet, you can find it linked in the tweet above. This is what stuck out to me:
“Thank you infinitely once more to our fans and thanks also to Spanish Football. During these nine exciting years I have played against great players. My respect and my recognition for all of them.
I have reflected a lot and I know that the time has come for a new cycle. I’m leaving but this shirt, this badge and the Santiago Bernabeu but they will continue to always feel part of me wherever I am.”
With Ronaldo out, Real will need to fill that void pretty quickly with an impact player. The names that have swirled around even before this news were the likes of Belgium/Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Brazil/PSG’s Neymar. Word on the street is Neymar doesn’t get along with French phenom Kylian Mbappe, so it could be interesting to see if Neymar leaves Paris after just one season. Though, in this case, it would be a slap in the face to Barcelona.
The New Digs
Ronaldo is walking into a good situation at Juventus. The finished 4 points ahead of Napoli to win the Serie A title last year, and now are clearly primed to do it again. Along with recent signing Emre Can from Liverpool, Ronaldo will be joining up with Paulo Dybala, Juan Cuadrado, Miralem Pjanic, Sami Khedira, and so much more top talent. It’s also likely to be the end of Gonzalo Higuain’s time with Juve.
Watch out for Juventus next year. They just may run away with everything. I smell a meeting with Real Madrid in the final. Wouldn’t that be one for the storybook?
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