Football

Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer from Real Madrid to Juventus will have a revitalising effect on Italian Serie A.

All eyes will be on Serie A next season as the Italian giants has succeeded in persuading Real Madrid to part ways with their all-time leading goal-scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo, for a 100 million Euro deal.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winning forward completed his medicals in Italy on Monday.

Ronaldo who is considered by many to be the best player in the world is surely going to set the Italian football league on the path to greatness like the old times.

As soon as the deal was completed, Super Sports announced to viewers that they will be showing the Italian Serie A when it commences in August. That is one of the impacts of the transfer on the league. It will definitely increase viewership.

It will also attract players of the highest quality from all over the world. Serie A used to be the biggest football league in the world. It attracted the greatest players such as Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, Gabriel Batistuta, Ronaldo De Lima, Ricardo Kaka, George Weah and many others to Italy.

However, the Calciopoli scandal in 2006 saw the decline of the league, which used to be top class. It no longer attracted the very best footballers even as ticket sales and TV rights were also on the decline. Dramatically, attention turned to the English Premier League.

The 2006 Italian football scandal, or Calciopoli in the Italian-speaking world, involved Italy’s top professional football leagues, Serie A and Serie B. The scandal was uncovered in May 2006 by Italian police, implicating league champions Juventus and other major teams including AC Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina when a number of illegal telephone interceptions showed a thick network of relations between team managers and referee organizations, being accused of rigging games by selecting favourable referees.

Over the years, Juventus one of the leading teams in Italy also affected by the scandal has been trying to get back to the top.

They built a new stadium in 2011 with a capacity of over 41,000 spectators. That set the ball rolling. Fast forward to seven years later, they have signed Ronaldo who is likely to attract a large followership.

Former Brazil international, Kaka, who moved from Sao Paulo to AC Milan in 2003 and then spent four years at Madrid before returning to San Siro, believes the presence of Ronaldo in Serie A could help to restore the country’s sporting reputation, making reference to the Italian football scandal of 2006 that saw Juventus relegated to Serie B.

“Ronaldo to Juventus is a good thing for whole of Serie A,” Kaka said, adding “Playing for Juventus is great.

“Italian football had difficult moments in the past but Juventus survived and became great again in Italy and Europe after a negative period.

“They’ve restarted after Serie B and they are a great team in Italy and Europe now. They signed one of the most important players and are bringing him to Italy,” he added.

Kaka feels the Ronaldo effect will be not just in Juventus, but throughout Serie A and Italy’s lower leagues.

“All the other teams will have an advantage thanks to this big name,” said the 36-year-old.

“In my opinion, as an Italian football lover and Milan supporter, it’s going to be a nice thing for Italian football.”

Kaka specifically believes this can be an inspiration to his old club, which have fallen on hard times of late.

The club have not won Serie A since 2010-11, and have not finished top four since 2012-13.

Kaka hopes the Ronaldo signing provides an opportunity for his former club to take advantage of. “I prefer to see the positive side [about Ronaldo’s signing],” Kaka added.

For legendary football coach, Carlo Ancelotti, he knows first hand what Ronaldo brings to the table having been in charge for Madrid’s 2013-14 Champions League success – the first of four for the team in a five-season period.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is absolutely world class and a consummate professional,” he told a news conference.

“His arrival to play in Serie A is good for Italian football, not just for Juventus. He will motivate us to work even harder.

“Juventus will be the team to beat, but not the only one”

“He is absolutely world-class and a consummate professional. Him coming to play in SerieA is good for Italian football as a whole, not just Juventus. Plus it will motivate us to work even harder.”

Jose Mourinho who has also managed Ronaldo when he was at Real Madrid is also optimistic that Ronaldo’s move to Juventus would benefit Italian league.

Mourinho feels Juventus signing of the five time Balon D’or winner will give SerieA a lot of attention in the upcoming season.

“La Liga no longer has the two best players in the world,” he told Tele Radio Stereo.

“Now one is in Spain and the other is in Italy.

“England have the Premier League, the most competitive championship, with top quality players, one of the most important leagues in the world. So now there are three dimensions.

“Now everyone looks at Italy for Ronaldo, the Premier League because it’s the best league and Spain for [Lionel] Messi.

“Serie A has become one of the most important championships in the world. In football, everything can change.

“If it changes the perspectives of teams like Inter, AC Milan and Roma, if they don’t passively accept Juve with Cristiano becoming stronger – that they will win again and again – and can also find the right motivations from this deal, it can change Serie A in terms of quality, emotions and exposure.

“For this reason, I congratulate Juventus for this coup, which involves football, marketing and merchandising. It’s the complete transfer.

Ronaldo will aim to help Juventus win their eighth consecutive Serie A title in 2018-19, and the club’s supporters will hope he can bring their long wait for a third Champions League trophy to an end.

Juve last won Europe’s premier club competition in 1996, but lost the final in 2015 to Barcelona and to Madrid in 2017, Los Blancos and Ronaldo also knocking them out in the quarter-finals last season.(Nextedition)