If Cristiano Ronaldo joins Juventus this summer, it would be a great marketing ploy for La Vecchia Signora and for Serie A in general due to his fame and reputation in football.
Although Italy won the World Cup in 2006, it was also the year that the Calciopoli scandal broke out, and Italian football has experienced a period of decline and regression since then. Serie A clubs have not been able to lure world-class players like they did in the 1980s and 1990s and there has been a dearth of local talent as well.
Despite being 33 years old, Ronaldo is still in great condition and he is scoring freely for club and country. He scored four goals for Portugal at the 2018 World Cup and he scored 44 goals in as many competitive matches for Real Madrid during the 2017/18 campaign.
According to media reports, the relationship between the Portuguese forward and Los Merengues president Florentino Perez has deteriorated and this has made the former Sporting CP and Manchester United player consider a change of atmosphere.
Reportedly Ronaldo has agreed to a four-year contract with €30 million per season after taxes with sponsors helping the Bianconeri cover parts of his hefty wage but now the Italian giants and their Spanish counterparts must agree on a transfer fee.
Juventus would not be acquiring an ordinary veteran. Even at his age, the Portuguese star can still be considered to be the best player in the world and he is a once-in-a-generation player so he can still be a great drawcard for Serie A.
Italian coaches do have a habit of trusting veterans over young players and only in the last two seasons or so have Serie A fans seem more youngsters emerge but the Bianconeri are not in a position to focus on youth development.
They are already built to win in the present, especially in domestic competitions and CR7 is a veteran worth spending money on. Although Juve have been well-constructed in the 2010s, they have been lacking that superstar than can step up in the big European fixtures.
Despite the quality that is already at Juventus, the UEFA Champions League has proven to be elusive for this squad. Ronaldo has won the competition five times, including four titles with Real Madrid, so he brings that experience and quality which should aid La Vecchia Signora enormously if they are to win their third European Cup/CL trophy.
Attendances at Italian league games have been dwindling in the last 20 years with average crowds reaching as low as 19,969 people in the 2006/07 season, almost half of what it was in 1997/98 with 38,370.
Seeing a player of the Portuguese forward’s calibre might entice people into going to the stadiums to watch him play in person instead of just watching the game in the comfort of their living rooms and also help to enliven the atmosphere in the crowds.
If Ronaldo comes to Italy and performs well, this might persuade other world-class players to join Serie A clubs and for sponsors to invest more in the league. Not only would more fans on the Italian peninsula take an interest in Ronaldo but Italian football would gain greater exposure around the world.
There will be supporters of the sport who would like to watch Juve for the sake of viewing the progress of the Portuguese superstar, especially if he scores at a prolific rate. It would also allow critics of Italian football to make proper judgements instead of relying on dated and narrow-minded stereotypes.
A negative aspect about his acquisition is that the Italian league looks one-sided as it is and the dominance of La Vecchia Signora probably will not be broken if they can buy Ronaldo. That being said, purchasing a player of his quality should not be for maintaining domestic dominance but for giving the squad and the supporters belief that they can win in Europe.
It has been years since Serie A has been filled with world-class players. Aside from the decline in the Italian talent pool and the Calciopoli scandal, a lack of finances and quality management have not helped clubs in Italy.
The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo would be something special but watching him succeed in Italy could be the catalyst for Serie A clubs to convince the world’s best to earn their living on the Italian peninsula.