Even with the World Cup kicking back off on Tuesday with a semi-final between Belgium and France, one of the world’s most famous sports stars still managed to steal the limelight away. Such is the star power of Cristiano Ronaldo that he can do just that. The Portuguese international, long since eliminated when his own team went out at the hands of Uruguay in the Round of 16, made himself the world’s biggest story when it was confirmed that he indeed would be leaving Real Madrid, a team where he had become a legend at.
The lucky team he will be joining, just as the reports had suggested for a few days, is Juventus. Juventus have had a particularly painful history against Ronaldo in recent years as well, with the Portuguese man knocking them out this past season in the Champions League thanks to a sublime bicycle kick. His team also beat the Italians in a final not too long ago, so perhaps this is all karma for the team known as the Old Lady as they seek a way to finally capture the European Cup again.
What makes this story so incredible is the fact that Ronaldo is leaving a team in which he has done so, so much at. In nine seasons, Ronaldo scored 451 goals for Real Madrid in 438 matches. To score more than one per match is simply insane and nearly impossible, yet he managed to do so. He the Ballon d’Or (World’s Best Player Award) four separate times. But most importantly, he won four Champions League titles, including three in a row that ended with this season’s trophy.
That is what makes this move so interesting. This move isn’t about money. It’s not about him being angry over playing time or personnel decisions. This is simply about legacy. Ronaldo has done literally everything he can do in Spain with Real Madrid. He wants to go to Juventus to make history. To win more trophies and go out on top. The fact that the Italian Serie A is a little slower paced should help, no doubt, but this is a move that is all about going somewhere to accomplish something new. Should he win the Champions League for his new team this coming season after this gargantuan $100 million+ move goes through, he could well be known as the greatest all of time simply for doing it with so many teams so often.