Cristiano Ronaldo transfer saga: Bargain of the century?
July 6, 2009.
It was the day when Cristiano Ronaldo was unveiled to the Real Madrid faithful for the first time. Around 80,000 spectators gathered to catch a glimpse of the then world's most expensive player of all time, which surpassed the 25-year old record of 75,000 fans who welcomed Diego Maradona at Napoli.
Ronaldo arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu when Real Madrid was in a tumultuous situation, domestically as well as in Europe. Barcelona, under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola, was in tremendous form and the Catalans were creating a legacy for themselves, the fulcrum to which was a certain Leo Messi.
But since his arrival, Ronaldo has gone on to break or match every possible goalscoring record that existed at the Santiago Bernabeu. He has managed to score a staggering 451 goals and has provided 120 assists.
In the meantime, he has managed to win an astonishing 4 Ballon d'Or and 4 UEFA Champions League titles, while elevating Real Madrid's status as the greatest club of all time.
Ronaldo has been worth every penny to Los Blancos. The fame and recognition he brought with himself have been immense, not to mention the footballing honours he helped the Los Blancos achieve.
In a highly inflated market where young players such as Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe has been transferred in excess of 100 million, his transfer to Madrid seems like a bargain. He has won everything there is to win, at 2 different clubs, in 2 of the toughest leagues in the world.
He has been the primary reason behind Los Blancos's mammoth Legion of International fans. Moreover, he is also regarded as one of the greatest players to ever grace the Premier League, despite playing there for only 6 seasons.
Moreover, Los Merengues sold Ronaldo to Juventus for a reported fee of €105 million, which is an absolute gain of about €25 million on the transfer fee Madrid paid to buy him in the first place!
Since last few years, more notably after Gareth Bale's record transfer to Madrid, the transfer market has seen a significant rise in players' prices. But once Manchester United broke the bank to acquire Paul Pagba from Juventus, all hell broke loose.
In the subsequent transfer window, PSG's acquired Neymar(€222 million) and Kylian Mbappe(roughly €190 million loan deal) and since then, transfer market has never been the same before.
So, in such a heavily inflated market, Juventus' acquisition of the current Ballon d'Or holder for €105 million can be considered as a bargain. Ronaldo had already transformed Juventus's finances even before he agreed to terms.
As rumours of his impending arrival soared, the club’s market valuation had risen from €665m to €815m – enough (notionally) to cover the player’s transfer fee. Aside from that, the recognition he will bring to Juventus and Serie A is going to be humongous and even at the age of 33, he has been an absolutely lethal player who can decide games on his own.
As Juventus is trying to achieve European glory, having last won the Champions League way back in 1996, there is no one who can be more apt for the old lady than Cristiano to bring the good old days back.