In Spring of 1996, Juventus F.C. entered the market as UEFA Champions League trophy holders. With plans to repeat European success, their staff had intentions to make a move involving a player that was to be revolutionary to both the club and national levels, and the history of football.
Zinedine Zidane was signed from the Italian side that summer and went on to win the Serie A title twice, contested in the Champions League final twice, and was awarded the Ballon d’Or in 1998 for his outstanding display of talent. The latter was handed to him also taking in consideration his contributions to the French triumph in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The Euro 2000 success with France cemented his value as a world-class player, leading to a world-record fee of €77.5-million signing with Real Madrid in 2001 to conduct the Iberians’ midfield.
Fast forward 22 years from Zizou’s signing, Juventus continue to astutely score in the football market. In July of 2018, they managed to land a contract with Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid for a fee of €100-million.
Considered to be the greatest football player by many, the Portuguese star shocked the world when he decided to lead his career towards Italy’s most successful club. 24 hours after introducing Ronaldo in Turin, Juventus unveiled the strong possibility of appointing Zinedine Zidane as sporting director.
What do these Juventus moves mean to the club and the landscape of football?
Looking at the situation at Real Madrid, the club is in a temporarily chaotic situation. Following the three back-to-back Champions League titles, Zidane left the club as its coach a few days after their most recent triumph to make a gentleman’s statement. He left the club after Florentino Pérez had declared that he would’ve fired the French legend had Madrid not landed the Champions League trophy.
Shortly after, Ronaldo surprised with his decision on grounds of dissatisfaction from Florentino Pérez’s leadership, and to add fuel to the fire, according to some reliable rumors, Marcelo could leave the club for Juventus later this Summer.
While UEFA Champions League success is the greatest honor for a team and its players to achieve in terms of club football, winning the title is obviously the goal behind the current moves. At Juventus, the sporting board has seen an opportunity in Los Blancos by snatching the two most important pieces of Real Madrid’s footballing minds, in hopes to concentrate that glory in The Old Lady’s history.
Although relatively expensive, they are clues that lead to one conclusion: Juventus has historically had perhaps the most intelligent marketing staff. Yes, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have been securing some of future’s greatest talents with their erratic spending, but their Champions League track record leaves a lot to be desired. The side has not only historically landed necessary contracts, but the well-thought spending has kept a modest-by-reputation squad at the highest levels of competition, even at its lowest points. This season, their talent behind the curtain will most likely make them European champions for a third time in their history in May of 2019.
These transfers are sure to shake up the greater picture of club football, as successes will be shared among different teams, in contrast to what has been happening in the past ten years. These moves are also foundation for a reinstatement of Italian football, as the Serie A prestige has taken a dip since its early 2000s era of glory.
With Ronaldo at its core, Juventus will attract attention that teams long for. This way, new generations in the world will get a glimpse at Italy’s rivalries and drama, stigmas and characteristics of teams, and most importantly its history, for other Appenine teams to gain a greater fanbase (i.e. positive financial netting). This way the moves can factor solutions to difficult financial issues of other teams, the resolve of which could propel Milan, Inter, etc. to their past glories. Who knows, maybe within the next 5-10 years we might even once again be watching an Italian UEFA Champions League final, like we did back in 2003.
Cover photo: africanews.com
Zidane Ballon d’Or photo: pinterest.com
Ronaldo at Juventus photo: highsnobiety.com
Del Piero photo: flickr.com
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