Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence from the starting XI of Juventus’ final Serie A match that decided the qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League certainly raised a few eyebrows around Italy. It was then explained as a mutual decision between the player and the manager Andrea Pirlo as Cristiano was fatigued, but it sounds odd as Ronaldo is not the kind of player who’d want to miss even a single minute on the pitch, let alone a whole match.
His most recent social media post also added more fuel to this conjecture. This all seems a bit premature as Ronaldo has a year left on his contract at the club. So, in this piece, we would like to explore the reasons that may ensure we see Cristiano Ronaldo in the Juventus stripes next season as well.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FOOTBALL TO LOOK FORWARD TO
There is no hiding the fact that Cristiano doesn’t prefer to play on Thursday nights in the Europa League, so Juventus securing the Champions League spot for next season should be the biggest factor in Ronaldo wanting to stay at the club. The Italian giant bought Ronaldo with the ambition of lifting this famous trophy yet again, which has eluded the club since 1996. But so far this move hasn’t helped the club get near the desired target. With one year left on the contract, the Portuguese would be ready for one last push for the Champions League.
TOP SCORER IN THE 2020-21 SERIE-A SEASON
Cristiano did suffer from a lean patch at the back end of the season when it came to goal scoring but easily finished as the top scorer of the Serie A with 29 goals from 33 matches. He averaged 0.93 goals every 90 minutes, and for someone who is 36, that sort of return is out of this world. He was by far the highest goalscorer for the club in the 2020-21 season and if he does decide to leave the club, then this will be too big a void to fill for Juventus.
TOO BIG A FINANCIAL LOSS FOR JUVENTUS
According to reports in the Italian media, Juventus need to find 120 million before the end of June in order to get their financial accounts in order. Like so many of their European counterparts, the club has been massively affected by the pandemic and needs to raise the necessary capital.
Juventus posted losses of 135.4 million for the first six months of the 2020-21 season. Ronaldo is one of the clubs biggest assets and the club makes plenty of money by selling his merchandise. Moreover, if Juventus decide to let him leave for free a year earlier than the expiry of his contract, then they will be losing around 28 million from the operation.
NO REAL REPLACEMENT IN THE MARKET
With the current financial situation of the club, it seems impossible for them to go into the market and buy the best and the biggest talents in Europe. The club is in a position of distress selling rather than buying. Given Ronaldo’s age, his resale value wouldn’t be anything close to what his name can do whilst at the club.
So if they were to part ways in the summer, Juventus would surely not be able to buy anything near the same quality as Ronaldo and that’ll be a big dent for the club to fix in the short term. On the other hand, Ronaldo will not find a club willing to furnish his massive salary demand and the Portuguese might have to take a pay cut to make a move happen, which seems unlikely.
Therefore, considering all the above pointers, it becomes clear that both parties would benefit from staying with each other for another season and for the club to build a strong team around Ronaldo.
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