Ronaldo will leave Spain for the Italian club in the blockbuster move.

By Daniel Herborn

Posted on July 11, 2018

Ronaldo had been holidaying in Greece since his national side Portugal were knocked out of the World Cup by Uruguay. Juventus President Andrea Agnelli flew out to meet him on Tuesday 10 July.

Juventus’ coup brings to an end Ronaldo’s time at Real Madrid where he has rarely been short of absolutely spectacular. He surpassed the magical goal-per-game ratio, scoring 451 times in 438 appearances across all competitions for the Spanish giant.

Ronaldo’s contract at Turinese club Juventus is worth US$35 a million a year and secures his services for the next four years. It has been calculated that he can afford to buy 45 houses a year in Sydney with his new salary.

It will be the first time Ronaldo has played in Serie A. The club he joins, Juventus, has long been one of the most powerful in Italy. It won the Serie A last year and has been a mainstay in the UEFA Champions League with only six clubs qualifying more times.

In signing Ronaldo, Juve gain a player ranked as either the best or second best in the world as well as an opponent that has tormented them at Champions League level. Ronaldo has scored 10 goals against Juve alone in the competition.

One of the world’s highest-earning athletes

In Forbes‘ 2018 list of the highest-earning athletes, Ronaldo ranked third with an estimated total earning of US$108 million comprising US$61 million in salary/winnings and US$47 million in endorsements.

Ronaldo’s former club, Real Madrid, released a statement confirming Ronaldo’s exit and thanking the player for his remarkable nine-season stint at the club.

“Today, Real Madrid wants to express its gratitude to a player who has proved to be the best in the world and who has marked one of the brightest times in the history of our club and world football.

“Beyond the conquered titles, the trophies achieved and the triumphs achieved in the playing fields during these nine years, Cristiano Ronaldo has been an example of dedication, work, responsibility, talent and improvement. He has also become the top scorer in the history of Real Madrid with 451 goals in 438 games.

“In total 16 titles, including four European Cups, three of them consecutive and four in the last five seasons. On an individual basis, with the Real Madrid jersey he has won four Ballon d’Ors, two FIFA Player of the Year awards, and three Golden Boots, among many other awards.

“For Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of his great symbols and a unique reference for the next generations. Real Madrid will always be your home.”

Real Madrid are now poised to go on a wild spending spree with the proceeds of Ronaldo’s transfer fee, possibly targeting big names such as English captain Harry Kane. Even before Ronaldo’s depature, Real Madrid were the second-richest club in world football.

A new canvas for a footballing artist

Like Pablo Picasso moving from his blue period to his rose period and then into cubism, Ronaldo’s career has been one of marked but inevitably successful stylistic shape-shifting. Once the prototypical swashbuckling left winger, he is now an unguardable number nine playing closer to goal and causing havoc with his silky first touch and off-ball movement.

The 33-year-old remains at the peak of his powers. Observers have noted a new finesse to his game; one wrote “what were once bullet headers are now acts of a softer precision.” His ability to bend the ball wickedly from set pieces has declined somewhat but he has more than compensated with an increased savviness.

What has Cristiano Ronaldo endorsed?

With his good looks (just ask him), penchant for headline-hogging melodrama and consistent ability to produce highlight-reel worthy plays, Ronaldo has been a marketer’s dream and his appeal has extended far beyond football diehards to make him easily the leader in terms of endorsement earnings among football players. He has more than 74 million Twitter followers and a staggering 122 million Facebook fans, the most of any celebrity.

Remarkably, it has been calculated that Ronaldo has generated US$216 million in value for Adidas despite being contracted to endorse rivals Nike. The value came about simply through Ronaldo playing in the Adidas-branded Real Madrid jersey.

Here are some of his most high profile endorsement deals:

  • Tag Heuer watches
  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Herbalife
  • Nike
  • PokerStars
  • Cristiano Ronaldo: Kick ‘n’ Run (mobile game)
  • CR7 Selfie app
  • MEO (Portuguese telecommunications company)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo CR7 branded menswear, fragrances, underwear and fleece blankets
  • Sacoor Brothers (mens’ clothing)
  • Crunch Fitness
  • A restaurant group with basketballer Pau Gasol and singer Enrique Iglesias
  • Clear (anti-dandruff shampoo)