5 quick thoughts on the Cristiano Ronaldo transfer, which makes sense for Real Madrid, Juventus and Ronaldo


On Tuesday Real Madrid made the announcement that the rumors were true: Cristiano Ronaldo had been sold to Juventus.

The statement made clear it was Ronaldo’s desire to leave the club at this time — almost comically so — and looking at the deal, it all makes sense, not only for Real Madrid and Juventus, but Ronaldo as well.

Here are some quick thoughts on the deal:

1. Real Madrid get a great return

If the deal is indeed for the reported €100 million, that’s a fantastic return for a player who’s already given Real Madrid some 400-odd goals over the last decade. That price will allow them to go out and get Neymar, if the rumors are to be believed, or replenish the squad under new manager Julen Lopetegui.

2. Mardrid aren’t forced to deal with the awkwardness of playing an aging Ronaldo

Lopetegui is also being given the gift of not having to sort out what to do with the club’s most iconic star of the last decade as he transitions into the latter half of his career. Ronaldo is still one of the absolute best players alive, but at the level Real Madrid want to play at, he can’t go on being the man you build a team around.

By selling now, Madrid don’t have to deal with this issue. They can’t offend Ronaldo by not making him the focal point of the team, because he won’t be there to offend.

3. Ronaldo gets to leave on his terms, still in his prime

Ronaldo is walking away from Real Madrid at very near the peak of his powers. Fans will remember him as the star in his prime, and not have to deal with memories of him losing a step, or not quite being as great as he once was. He leaves as Cristiano Ronaldo.

Sure, he’s stumbled a bit at times over the last season, but he scored 27 goals in La Liga last year. This wasn’t some hobbled old guy, lurking too long. He was a star, a back-to-back-to-back Champions League winner, the team’s focal point, right up until the moment he left.

4. Juventus need a goalscorer, and are built well for him

Juventus are paying a lot for Cristiano Ronaldo. A lot a lot. But they’re getting an all-but-guaranteed 25+ goalscorer who can lead their attack, and someone who has shown he can win Champions League trophies. He’s still an elite talent who’s in great shape, and will be playing against Serie A defenses that haven’t had a chance to learn how to play him.

Juventus have a world-class midfield and world-class defense, and now they have a proven goalscorer who can slot in for them up top, in either a winger or pure striker position, and score goals for them. That’s what Ronaldo can still do at the top top level, and it’s all Juventus need him to do.

5. Ronaldo can still compete for Champions League trophies

...and he’ll be doing so in an environment that makes sense. I’m hard pressed to find a loser here. He gets to walk out on his terms, still playing at a top level, and can do so with a strong supporting cast that only needs him to do one thing: score. He gets to compete for top trophies and not deal with the legacy and history he has at Real Madrid.

Real Madrid get €100 million and a chance to invest in youth. Juventus get the goalscorer they need. For now, barring injury or some other disaster, this is a win for everyone.

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