Welcome to the Summer of GOATs changing teams. First LeBron, now Ronaldo (co-GOAT). If Celine Dion takes her act to the Venetian in the next couple months we’ll really be seeing something special.
This has been kind of a weird saga since, if you’ve been paying attention, this move to Juventus was first reported about a week ago, no one on either side came close to denying it, and the final fee (€100 million) was the exact number that was first reported. So why the delay? Who knows. Maybe to give him time to write his
Player’s Tribune article open letter to the fans. Or to try and upstage as much of the World Cup as possible. Or, more likely, to iron out the contractual kinks. Whatever the case, a new species of goat in coming to Torino (if you opt to say the Americanized Turin I hate you. Torino is so much better to say. Literally every single Italian city name is better in Italian and for some reason we felt the need to make worse versions of them because most Americans are too stupid to pronounce things correctly).
So why did CR7 want out? I’m guessing he was just kind of burnt out at Madrid. It’s not like he needs to move to win, or anything. Real literally can’t stop winning trophies. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery. Sometimes you just need to go somewhere with laxer tax laws. I won’t lie and tell you I’m an expert on Serie A, but something tells me they’ll have no problem letting Ronaldo skate by without paying his taxes if he’s still Ronaldo.
As for what this means for Serie A and the world at large, I don’t imagine much changing. Juventus won the league last year (and pretty much does every year), and something tells me adding Ronaldo won’t hurt their chances at adding another title to their cabinet. They’ll probably be a really fun team to watch, but I’ll be honest, you’ve gotta be a real diehard to regularly watch Italian league soccer. I don’t even know what network it’s on, but I’m guessing every time Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain start up front together they’ll play this:
Champions League will be the best time to watch them, and that’s where this move will have the biggest impact, anyway. Juventus was always kind of a secondary contender, a team that was always deep in the tournament but never a serious threat to win, but now they have to be taken seriously. For me, there are now six teams who could legitimately win the 2018-19 Champions League: Juventus, Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City. It’ll probably just be Real again because, you’ll never believe this, they’re still super stacked and will probably just go out and buy Harry Kane or something. But the more I think about it, the more I’m starting to like Juventus’ chances. They could very well be the highest scoring team in Europe this season, and, even without Gigi Buffon, they still have one of the strongest defenses in the world. It’s a strong take, but I think the team with Cristiano Ronaldo has a chance to go really far in the Champions League.
The most fascinating part of this for me is the transfer fee of €100 million. I realize that every transfer market is different, Ronaldo is 33, and PSG felt like they had to extravagantly overpay, but it’s crazy to me that Neymar is viewed as twice as valuable as Ronaldo. Soccer is a young man’s game, but there’s been no drop-off from Ronaldo whatsoever to this point. In many ways he’s getting better, just like Tom Brady or LeBron. I think he’ll stave off a drastic decline through sheer force of will and remain, at the very least, a world class striker for another three or four years. Does anyone have any doubt who’s going to lead Serie A in goals this season? Hint: it’s going to be Ronaldo. All things considered, €100 million for Cristi might turn out to be a massive bargain. I love this for Juventus, and if I’m a Real Madrid fan I don’t think I could ever forgive the Spanish government. Some things are bigger than civic duty, and keeping GOATs happy is one of them.