Cristiano Ronaldo has ended a nine-year spell at Real Madrid by agreeing to join Juventus in a deal reported to be worth €105million.
The right time for Ronaldo to join Juventus
A Hall of Fame baseball executive by the name of Branch Rickey once said, “trade a player a year too early rather than a year too late”.
Ronaldo has consistently silenced any doubters and there is little evidence to suggest he would not continue to be prolific for Madrid next season.
Yet, watching him cut a relatively isolated figure as Portugal exited the World Cup while the younger and fleeter of foot Kylian Mbappe and, to a lesser extent, Neymar, lit up Russia 2018, it is easy to see why Madrid have come to this decision.
Ronaldo, still capable of the spectacular but no longer at the absolute peak of his powers ahead of his 34th birthday in February, cannot be considered a long-term option for Madrid, and his sale enables them to somewhat balance the books ahead of a potential move for one of Neymar or Mbappe, if not approaches for both.
The Paris Saint-Germain pair are each clinical inside the box and fearsome in space on the break, with their success on the world stage evidence of their value as the kind of attacking focal point Madrid will require if they are to continue to dominate at the highest level of club football.
Ronaldo has served with incredible distinction as Madrid’s centrepiece and their decision to part with him will undoubtedly raise eyebrows, with observers sure to claim that it may be a year too early for such a move after his 15 Champions League goals fired them to more European glory in 2017-18.
However, Ronaldo gets to bid farewell on a historic high and before any kind of decline starts to become obvious. In that respect, the timing is just right.