Win some lose some: Ronaldo kicks off to Juventus
New beginnings for Ronaldo and Juventus, how did Real Madrid lose its most important player and what does it dictate for them this season.
Ronaldo's nuptials with 'The Old Lady'
Dreams have turned into reality while for some their worst nightmares are now true. Cristiano Ronaldo has completed a shock move to Juventus for a reported 100 million Euros after spending 9 splendid, massively successful and record-breaking years at perhaps the biggest club in the continent, Real Madrid. While some may be heartbroken, Ronaldo knew from the moment that 'outrageous bicycle kick' was pulled, he fell in love with 'The Old Lady'. He might have ruled the Queen's land, challenged the Blaugrana domination but now he wants to take over Buffon's legacy. He is only the second player to win the Ballon d'Or with two different clubs after the Brazilian Ronaldo while now he has a chance to win the prestigious prize with 3 different clubs having won it with Manchester United and Real Madrid.
Having never won the Champions League under Buffon's watch, the Juventus Board wants to put up another serious challenge for the European Cup. Who else can help them win it than Cristiano Ronaldo, a player who has won 5 himself while being a finalist in another, a player who has regularly outscored teams in the competition every year, a player who knocked out Juventus itself 3 seasons ago with 2 goals in Cardiff, a player who scored 3 goals to defeat them 4-3 on aggregate last season, it doesn't get any better than this for Juventus.
'Winner takes it all'
Getting 100 million Euros for a 33-year-old might seem a lot but when it's Cristiano Ronaldo it looks like a measly amount given his achievements for both club and country. But this season, Ronaldo showed signs of slowing down after scoring just 4 goals in the La Liga prior to January. Although his form rocketed in 2018, he still needed to be rested in several La Liga games to be fit enough for the more important Champions League clashes against teams like Bayern, PSG etc. This fee will enable them to buy a like-for-like player to fill in the ranks or they could make do with current forwards and invest the funds in other weakened areas.
Gareth Bale and others
It is no secret that Bale is unsettled at Madrid. He has been regularly booed off by his own fans and it's even worse after his own coach(now former), Zinedine Zidane, criticizes him in the public and drops him for most of the matches in favor of a misfiring Benzema. But come the end of the season, Bale picked up the remains and scored a stunning equalizing goal in the El Clasico and Champions League winning double against Liverpool, one of which was a stunning bicycle kick. With Ronaldo moving out of the picture, Bale can finally step out of his shadow and fulfill his potential at Real. He is at the peak of his career, 28 years old, and with Zidane out of his way, Bale couldn't have asked for a better timing. Now, it's up to him to work hard on his fitness and be a consistent performer at the Bernabeau. Then there's Assensio, Isco, Vazquez and even James (on loan at Bayern for another season) who will be looking to get more minutes.
They have done great business this summer. With Buffon leaving for PSG, Juve needed something, or rather someone, to give them an identity, a stance in the world, and then Ronaldo came calling. There has been a massive upsurge in their following with over 1.5 million new followers on various social media sites, a 25% increase in their stock prize. It is important to note that Real Madrid recouped the hefty fees they paid to Manchester United in 2009 in just 3 months through jersey sales and that was 9 years ago. So, signing Ronaldo is going to be extremely successful, both on and off the pitch for Italians. Above that they now possess a strike partnership of Ronaldo, Dybala, Mandzukic and Douglas Costa with Bernardeschi also among the ranks.
It is time for Hazard to finally fulfill his dream and put on the legendary and iconic white colors of Real Madrid. With Ronaldo being sold to Juventus, there is a need for a superstar or a galactic, as they call it. He is already a player in his prime and showed strong performances as captain of the Belgium side that reached the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup 2018. He has been flirting with a possible transfer to Real and this move seems realistic, now more than ever.
'Someone else's stars'
Both Neymar and Mbappe have been linked as the successors of Ronaldo at Real Madrid and with him gone now, it might be time for either one of them to finally end up at the Bernabeau. Both were purchased for astronomical amounts in the previous season and would cost a similar fee if they were to move again. Now it is up to PSG and Tuchel to sort everything out in his camp and retain his star players for next season.
In 2018, Eden Hazard was being linked to Real again only this time it is more realistic than ever. After an average season for Chelsea, the Belgium captain showed his worth on the biggest stage of all, the World Cup where his performances earned him a nominee for the Golden Ball. He got Belgium their best-ever finish at the World Cup Finals, 3rd, after beating England 2-0 where he scored a goal himself. In a recent interview he said, "After 6 years at Chelsea it might be time to try something different. You know my preferred destination."