Shares of Juventus Football Club SpA surged following reports the Italian soccer club is poised to sign five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
Current club Real Madrid would consider a fee of about 100 million euros ($117 million) for its record goal-scorer, a fraction of his 1 billion-euro release clause, Spanish sports website Marca reported. The 33-year-old agreed to accept a 30 million-euro salary from Juventus, Spanish newspaper As reported, saying the clubs still need to reach a transfer agreement.
Juventus shares rose as much as 9.7 percent in Milan, the biggest intraday rally since a crucial Champions League win in March for the team that would later crash out in a quarter-final defeat at the hands of its Spanish rival, sealed by a penalty goal from Ronaldo. The stock has climbed 23 percent in the last five days as speculation of a possible transfer gathered pace.
While a fee of the reported amount may seem high for a player in the twilight of his career, it would be a coup for the Turin-based side known as “la Vecchia Signora,” or The Old Lady, given Ronaldo’s global brand appeal as well as his on-field talent.
Ronaldo is a “marketer’s dream” who would entice fresh revenue to Juventus through sponsorships, full stadiums and potential broadcasting rights, Robert Wilson, a lecturer in sports business management at Sheffield Hallam University in the north of England, said by email.
The fee would top the 80 million pounds ($105.8 million) Real Madrid paid Manchester United for the Portuguese star in 2009.
Also the UEFA Champions League’s all-time top scorer, Ronaldo earned $61 million dollars in salary and bonuses last year, plus an extra $47 million via endorsements, according to Forbes, making him the third-highest paid athlete in the world behind FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi and American boxer Floyd Mayweather.
His most recent exploits came at the World Cup in Russia, where he scored a breathtaking hat-trick against Spain in the group stage before Portugal was eliminated by Uruguay in the first knock-out round.
A spokesman for Juventus declined to comment and Real Madrid didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment.