In less than two years in Italy, there is already talk of Ronaldo leaving Juventus for “greener pastures”.
The Portuguese captain has had a somewhat roller-coaster season so far. For Portugal, he’s been that guy we know as he went just one shy of a century of goals after his 99th international goal in their 2-0 Euro 2020 qualifier win over Luxembourg on Sunday.
For Juventus, It’s been series of struggles both on and off the pitch with the most recent being his row with Maurizio Sarri after he was substituted twice in a row – the first time since his move to Juventus.
Coupled with all that, recent reports are now suggesting Ronaldo could look to sign for another club if Juventus do not win this season’s Champions League.
Speaking to Chiringuito De Jugones h/t by Express, Spanish journalist Eduardo Inda said: “Cristiano Ronaldo could leave Juventus at the end of the current season if they do not win the Champions League.
“He went to Turin to try and win the Champions League with a third different club but things are getting complicated.
“Juventus want to sign [Paul] Pogba and [Kylian] Mbappe. I think it is going to be difficult for them, especially the second one. Due to the salary limits, if they want to sign these players they would have to allow for Ronaldo’s exit from the club so it is becoming a very likely outcome.”
As per Transfermarkt, Ronaldo still has over two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract with the Serie A leaders.
The same report went on to say that former club Manchester United were the favourites for his services should Ronaldo indeed want a move come the end of the season.
Ronaldo’s future at Juventus surely looks unclear after his spectacular fallout with Sarri but if any truth exists in these reports of a potential exit, then Ronaldo must clearly have a second look about what it would imply.
Ronaldo is a serial winner, a hard-working character always driven to get what he wants and while that has been the principal key to his career’s success, It’s left the 34-year-old with an insatiable desire to want everything play out in his terms. Which would sadly never be the case.
Yes Ronaldo has won the Champions League with two different teams and would no doubt want another with a third side but he clearly has to do more to be able to make such high claims.
Juventus might not have been at their dominating best in recent weeks but the same can be said for Ronaldo as well – on a club level.
Last season, his tally of 28 goals for Juventus was his lowest-scoring season in a decade and that could even be under threat of further reduction this season.
As per Transfermarkt, Ronaldo has scored only six goals this season after 14 appearances and 1217 minutes of action so far.
Meaning, based on that scoring rate, he could end the season with somewhere between 20-25 goals – If things remain the same with him that is.
More ironic is his contribution to his most prized competition – the Champions League. Over the years, Ronaldo’s exploits in the Champions League have seen him earn the nickname “Mr Champions League”.
That nickname was solidified in the 2017/2018 season while at Madrid as Ronaldo bagged nine goals in the group stage, breaking the record held jointly by Ruud van Nistelrooy (2004/05), Filippo Inzaghi and Hernán Crespo (both 2002/03) as per UEFA. He went on to finish that campaign with a staggering 17 goals as Real Madrid won the tournament.
The Ronaldo we know would normally be somewhere around five to six goals at least at this stage of the Champions League. This season, he has only one goal so far and it highlights a sense of under-performing for the Portuguese from a personal point of view.
He remains Juventus top scorer so far but It’s easy to agree that Ronaldo can and should have done better. Oh yes, we forget he’s 34 now and can’t perform at that high level anymore which translates to him making demands based on what he can offer as it stands.
In a nutshell, If Ronaldo wants to win the Champions League with a third club (Juventus), then he should simply work to the height of his powers and If he is let down by teammates in-spite of all that, It becomes valid if he wants greener pastures elsewhere.
If United is his most likely destination, If he leaves Juventus, then surely It’s not for UCL glory with a third club. Right?
Ronaldo can still go on to score double figure goals in the Champions League but if things remain the same and he doesn’t improve significantly, he simply has to back himself up rather than opting for a “solution” to feed his ego.