Wednesday 25 August 2021

Signing Ronaldo was a mistake – Ex-Juventus boss

Former Juventus chairman Giovanni Cobolli Gigli has called on the club to rectify the “mistake” of signing 

Cristiano Ronaldo by selling him as soon as possible.


Juve paid a club-record £99million to prise Ronaldo from Real Madrid in the summer of 2018, UK Mirror reports.


The Portuguese superstar joined on a four-year contract and plundered 101 goals in his first three seasons, winning every domestic honour available to him.


But the start of the current campaign has not gone to plan, with Ronaldo said to be pushing for a move to Manchester City after he reportedly requested to be on the bench for Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Udinese.


Nonetheless, Ronaldo remains the biggest attraction in Serie A and Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri’s squad would be significantly weaker without the 36-year-old.


Chairman Andrea Agnelli has previously justified the financial side of signing Ronaldo and handing him a contract worth €31million (£26.5m) per season.


However, his predecessor sees things very differently and insists Juve will never make back the money they have stumped up for Ronaldo.


As well as criticising the Bianconeri’s transfer strategy, Gigli also took aim at Ronaldo’s play style by declaring he “hampers Juventus ‘ attack”.


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“I’ve always been honest: signing Ronaldo was a mistake. It’s impossible to recoup the investment and it will remain that way,” Gigli – who was Juventus chairman between 2006 and 2009 – told SerieANews.


“He’s a great player, but I have to be honest – the sooner he leaves, the better for him and for Juventus.


“I hope that Massimiliano Allegri knows how to continue using him like he did against Udinese. That is, with intelligence and when the game is in progress.


“Ronaldo hampers Juventus’ attack. Without him, they can do excellent things in collective terms.”

Gigli’s wish for Ronaldo to leave Turin may soon be granted, as the player’s agent, Jorge Mendes, is understood to be negotiating a transfer with City chiefs.


Pep Guardiola’s side will reportedly target the former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward if they fail to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham in the final days of the transfer window.


Ronaldo, for his part, is keen on the transfer as he believes joining City would give him the best chance to add to his five Ballons d’Or.


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