Jump directly to the content

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.


Your Sun

A News UK Company

How Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Juventus has been 15 years in the making 

The Portuguese superstar's transfer to Turin was set in motion well before he became the best player in the world

They finally got their man.

Having forked out €100 million, Juventus have made the signing of the summer by nabbing Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid, nine years after he joined the Spanish giants from Man United.

And 15 years after he slipped through their fingers as a teenager.

Finally theirs

Getty - Contributor
Finally theirs

Speaking about his move to Juve in his press conference on Monday, Ronaldo said: “It was an easy decision. One I took a long time ago.”

Some might’ve missed the irony.

After all, Ronaldo came within a whisker of signing for the Italian giants back in 2003.

Nobody really knows the fine details, but according to Alessandro Moggi – the son of Juventus’ former general director Luciano – the club were in pole position to sign him from Lisbon in the summer of 2003, even ahead of Man United.

In an interview last year, he said: “Ronaldo was offered to Parma and Lazio, but they rejected a chance to sign him. Juventus wanted to sign him and I travelled to Lisbon with Jorge Mendes.”

The 18-year-old Ronaldo was hot property

The 18-year-old Ronaldo was hot property

“The idea was to make a swap deal with [Chilean striker] Marcelo Salas, as Juventus wanted to sell him.

“Trouble is, Portuguese football wasn’t too interesting at the time and we couldn’t persuade Salas to move to Portugal.

“Contracts and papers were ready, Ronaldo was happy because in that moment Juventus were one of the best teams in Europe.

“That day we could have changed the history of European football, maybe Ronaldo could have still been a Juventus player today.”

He did alright still, didn’t he?

PA:Press Association
He did alright still, didn’t he?

Of course, the rest is history, as Ronaldo joined United before signing for Madrid six years later.

But had Juve offered a bit more money, or perhaps decided against offering Salas as part of the deal, Ronaldo would’ve been wearing black and white a lot sooner.

Still, they got their man in the end, didn’t they?