Love usually ends much earlier than it takes for a logistical solution to break up. In that painful transit in which one has to continue living with the other under the same roof is where the most decadent part of the relationship is manifested. And Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo are exactly there. The team, after the global ridicule with the Superliga of its president, Andrea Agnelli, and the bad results that compromise its presence in the Champions League next year, is in free fall. The Portuguese is not fine, but he looks dismissively at his teammates as if the fault were always only on others. He and the club can’t stand each other anymore and it feels like they’re just looking forward to the moving truck to get out of sight at once.
Ronaldo’s numbers would say that he has lived up to his end of the bargain: 101 goals in three seasons and this year he is the top scorer in Serie A with 29 goals. But under the data, the emotions and faces of the Portuguese show something else. CR, they say in Turin, has not made a team life. Nor has he been closely related to his teammates – except for the third goalkeeper, Carlo Pinsoglio, who has become a close friend – and he has lost the little complicity he had with the club since the elimination in the Champions League (his maximum public support is Lapo Elkann, who is not exactly the first godfather one would choose in the Agnelli family). Let’s not say since the qualification for next year for the championship has begun to be jeopardized that the club president does not consider to be at the level of Juve (today he is fifth behind Napoli, which aye won 0-2 with Fiorentina ).
Ronaldo has had bad streaks. He went three games without scoring two weeks ago. Something unprecedented in his career. Those things happen, although in Italy I still had not suffered. But then he returned to save Juve in the last matches. The problem is that in Turin they regret that he is a ghost in important meetings. In the field he looks nervous, pissed off at the world. This Saturday, after scoring in the victory against Inter (who have already won the championship), he was substituted in the 69th minute and left crestfallen. His defenders allege that he has given weight to the team and has won two scudetti. But his signing, which cost 112 million euros plus a salary of 31 a year, was a strategy to win the Champions League. The scudetti in Turin – Juve had already been seven in a row when he arrived – they were taken for granted until this year.
Andrea Agnelli, the man who insisted on bringing CR in the last stretch of his career paying more than it had cost when he was 24, is also on the line. In addition to the blunder with the Super League, he has had to testify about the scandal with the rigging of Luis Suárez’s Italian exam – to save his skin he has put all the blame on the sports director, Fabio Paratici – and manage some financial figures very compromised by the pandemic. Ronaldo begins to be a problem not only football, but also economic if Agnelli wants to rebuild and rejuvenate the team. Him or whoever the next president is. Because Alessandro Nasi, another of the family’s cousins, who today runs one of the group’s companies, is already ringing. But that, unfortunately for his record, he is a Torino fan (and has just started a relationship with Buffon’s ex-wife).
Jorge Mendes, her agent and best man, is looking for a new home for her. The dream was to return to Real Madrid. But Florentino Pérez slammed the door on the exact same day that he unleashed another fantasy in prime time at the Chiringuito. Now they say that Manchester United and PSG are playing. But Cristiano is 36 years old. And the moving truck seems to be late.