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Juventus sporting director reveals the story behind the club's decision to sign Cristiano Ronaldo

ANALYST
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1.43K   //    13 Feb 2019, 10:40 IST

Juventus v AC Milan - Italian Supercup
Juventus v AC Milan - Italian Supercup

What's the story?

Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici has revealed the events leading up to the massive signing of Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo from LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

In case you didn't know...

Ronaldo left Real Madrid last summer after having dedicated nine years of his life to the club. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner made the shocking move to Serie A giants Juventus for a staggering €100 million.

The move came as a shock to the football world, mystified by the reasons for the move. Months after arriving at Turin, Ronaldo revealed that he felt he was no longer indispensable at the club and this made him feel like it was the right time to leave.

Speaking to France Football, the former Blancos star said, "I felt it inside the club, especially from the president, that they no longer considered me the same way that they did in the start."

"In the first four or five years there, I had the feeling of being ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’.

"Less afterwards. The president looked at me through eyes that didn’t want to say the same thing, as if I was no longer indispensable to them, if you know what I mean.

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"That’s what made me think about leaving. Sometimes I’d look at the news, where they were saying I was asking to leave."

The heart of the matter

Paratici has now revealed the story behind one of the biggest transfers in football, stating that he always knew Ronaldo would open a lot of doors in a "sporting, commercial and globalization sense".

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Marca), the sporting director said, "When we played in Madrid, Mendes came in and I told him 'Cristiano [Ronaldo] scored incredible goals."

"He looked at me and replied 'you will not believe it, but he wants to come to Juventus and remember that this is less strange than you think, we'll talk about it'."

At the time, Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes reportedly insisted that his client would like a move to Juventus.

"Mendes looked at me and this time it was clear that he was serious," the director added.

"[Mendes said] 'remember the other time, you'll see that Ronaldo is leaving Real Madrid.'

"[Mendes said] 'I'm telling you clearly that the player wants to only go to Juve, as he only goes to the historical teams and he has never played in Italy, so he also wants to win the Italian title'.

"I told him to let me think a few days and then I'd give him an answer and I didn't say no, [because] otherwise he would have tried another team."

"I knew that Cristiano Ronaldo is a star who opens a lot of doors, in a sporting, commercial and globalization sense."

Paratici also revealed that he was seriously considering signing Mauro Icardi instead of the Portuguese.

"That would have led to a major drama. But obviously, he wasn't our primary objective."

What's next?

It didn't take long for Ronaldo to adapt to Italian football as he now has scored 20 goals in all competitions under his belt so far this season and is likely set to increase his goal tally soon. Juventus, who are at the top of the league table, are next set to face Frosinone in the Serie A on Saturday.

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