With the World Cup enthralling millions of watchers worldwide, much of the game is about recruitment—and rumors that Portugal football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo—the highest-paid in the world--is close to a sensational move to Italy’s Juventus has sent share prices of the club soaring.
Juventus stock gained 20 cents, or over 7 percent, this past week when it became feasible that Ronaldo might leave Real Madrid for 100 million euros,
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Real Madrid has indicated it would consider selling the record-setting Ronaldo for 100 million euros, or around $117 million, according to Spanish media reports.
Spanish media also claim that Ronaldo has agreed to accept a 30-million-euro salary from Juventus, but no transfer agreement has yet been agreed.
Based on the $117-million transfer fee and a four-year contract for the 33-year-old superstar, Juventus would in for $450 million to 2022. Related: Is Google Warming Up To Cryptocurrencies?
In order to sign Ronaldo, though, Juventus will have to get rid of some players. Following the transfer rumors, British media reported that Liverpool might ink Juventus’ Argentinian Paulo Dybala, while Manchester United is interested in Croatian Mario Mandzukic.
Local media have also speculated that the Italian club might increase its membership prices.
Fans won’t mind, though. Whatever Juventus pays for Ronaldo, it will be money well spent and the return on investment will be huge.
Ronaldo shirt sales alone bring in massive profits. In the first year of his contract with Real Madrid, the club sold $100 million in Ronaldo jerseys.
He is, after all, Real Madrid's top all-time goal scorer, with 451 goals since moving there in 2009. He has won five Ballons d'Or, the most prestigious individual trophy in sport, and is viewed as one of the greatest players in football history. His success pays off for his sponsors.
Ronaldo is the highest-paid athlete in the world for the second straight year with $93 million, including $35 million off the pitch from sponsors and licensing deals.
In 2016, Nike signed him on to a lifetime deal that is believed to be worth as much as $1 billion. Ronaldo is one of only three athletes to have ever achieved a lifetime deal with Nike. The other two are LeBron James and Michael Jordan.
According to Hookit, which tracks sponsorship value in social and digital media, sponsors racked up $936 million in media value across Ronaldo’s social media accounts in the last 12 months. That number is more than seven times any other athlete.
So why would he be leaving Real Madrid amid all this success? Apparently, as rumors go, it’s personal. Even before the latest transfer rumors, there was talk that Real Madrid was looking for his successor, and it’s no secret management has been courting Brazilian star Neymar, who previously played for Real’s main competitor, Barcelona.
Ronaldo’s patience was reportedly taxed to the limit recently with the reduction of his release clause from $1 billion to $100 million, which he interpreted as a personal insult.
Juventus won a seventh successive Serie A title in May, bringing their overall number to a record 34 titles.
On Friday morning, British media reported that the deal was moving closer to reality, with Juventus CEO Giuseppe Marotta said to be “receiving positive signals from Spain”.
By Damir Kaletovic for Safehaven.com
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