The Ronaldo effect: One of the best transfers in football history continues to develop
- The Ronaldo effect has been evident in Turin - not just on the field, but off it too.
Last season Juventus won 30 out of 38 games, scoring 86 goals and losing only three times. They lost to a Cristiano Ronaldo-fueled Real Madrid team 4-3 on aggregate at the Champions League, but 100 million later Ronaldo finds himself in Turin, ready to become the first man to win La Liga, EPL and Serie A.
Ronaldo confidently said at the beginning of the season, "The age is not important; I feel good, I feel motivated". And he has proven to be, netting nine times which has made him the top scorer already.
The Juve side Ronaldo has joined is evidently a strong one. How big of an effect can a 33-year-old man from Portugal have on a major European club which has almost everything sorted?
On the field, Ronaldo has been part of Juventus' greatest ever start. But off the pitch he has also had a major effect on social media, ticket sales and TV viewers; he has broken records with both his new Italian club and his old Spanish side.
The effect that the Portuguese international has had on the field is fairly obvious. Over the weekend, Juventus eased past a 10-man AC Milan side with Ronaldo scoring the second of the game and his ninth of the season. This win extended Juve's perfect start to 12 unbeaten games with only 1 draw.
Despite this start though, their goalscoring exploits pale in comparison to last year - after nine games last season had scored 24 goals, while this year they have scored 4 less. Perhaps unsurprisingly, however, the biggest effect that Ronaldo's move has had on the field lies with his previous club. Madrid scored four less in their first nine games this season compared to last.
Furthermore, the removal of their attacking threat has left Madrid more vulnerable at the back. Teams evidently feel more confident to attack without the threat of an in-form Portuguese running at their back line. Los Blancos have conceded 14 in their first 10 games of the season this year; the 'Ronaldo effect' is all too visible.
Secondly, with Ronaldo being the ultimate modern-day player, the 'Ronaldo effect' can be seen on social media too. Juventus lead the entire sporting world on YouTube with 36.3 million video plays in July, 11.9 million more than Real Madrid. But perhaps the most staggering figure is that in July alone, Juventus had 18.3 million plays, almost double the amount of YouTube video plays they had in the first six months of the year between January and June.
Furthermore, with a total of 14.4 million followers, Juventus have surpassed PSG to become the fourth most followed football club on Instagram. In comparison, only 14 clubs in the world have more than 4 million followers on Instagram, which Cristiano Ronaldo nearly gained them in a month.
With the way football is going and the role that online presence plays for clubs today, it is easy to say that investing 100 million in the Portuguese has benefited Juve on and off the pitch.
The ' Ronaldo effect' is further apparent when looking at attendances and viewings on TV. Viewing figures for Sky Italia's coverage show a 68% increase on the numbers for last season's opening game between Juventus and Cagliari. 2,330,234 unique viewers tuned in to see the £105million man in action.
Meanwhile, La Liga views dropped and attendance hit a nine-year low at the Santiago Bernabéu. In the season opener, without Ronaldo, Real Madrid pulled in just 48,446 spectators despite the stadium's capacity of 81,044.
When Ronaldo made his debut in Verona, crowds like those on the day hadn't been seen since Pope Benedict XVI visited the area in 2006.
Finally, Juventus look set to break more records, having already beaten an 88-year-old one with their perfect start. Ronaldo himself can be expected to become the first man to win Serie A, La Liga and the EPL given Juve's 6 point league already.
Despite a surprise loss to his former club Manchester United, Juventus still remain one of the favorites to win the Champions League this year. If they do pull it off, that would expand Ronaldo's record to six titles, and would also see him become the first man win the Champions league at three different clubs.
If anyone thought Ronaldo moving from Madrid to Turin was the start of the end, they should think again. Aged 33, he has been involved in one of the the best transfers in football history.Published 15 Nov 2018, 18:46 IST