The photo at the Botafumeiro in Barcelona, on August 7, was a bad omen. Andrea Agnelli and Joan Laporta laughed openly after the feast. And that the first one had just come off the best player in the history of Barça two days ago. Florentino Pérez, somewhat removed from the center of the image, was outlining a gesture of restrained satisfaction. A month later, only he has that sparkle in his eyes. A happiness, in part, related to the misfortune of the other two. Barça has lost Messi and is ruined; Juventus has seen Cristiano Ronaldo leave three years later after having paid 117 million euros to Real Madrid. A club that, with that money and some savings, is about to sign Mbappé, a footballer called to mark the next decade.
Playing at being Madrid is bad and expensive. And Juventus has been trying for 15 years. Tired of failing on her own, she decided to try through an intermediary. Cristiano, the player who had destroyed him in direct head, foul or Chilean duels, seemed the straightest line between those two points that united success and failure. He or what was left of his splendid career. After all, they thought of Turin, if they brought in a guy who had won five orejonas they would be able to overcome by force the trauma of two lost endings.
Cristiano, it was obvious, fitted in well with that somewhat haughty personality built on the flash of a trophy gallery. He arrived hungry and in great spite. They put him in three different coaches in three years. But it does not work. Neither he advanced in his career, nor Serie A and Juventus managed to show their heads in Europe, where in their best year they ended up humiliated by Ajax in the quarterfinals. Last season, when the club and the Portuguese coexisted as two separate under the same roof, the Vecchia Signora was fourth and lost the first scudetto in nine years.
Now it can be said: 1,143 days later, neither the Turinese managed to be Real Madrid nor Cristiano was Chamartín again despite collecting new personal records. Juve did not lift the Champions League with CR, their main objective after 25 years of drought. It is also somewhat poorer than three years ago, when it disbursed 117 kilos to sell it now to Manchester United for 15. It is true that he will save 57 million euros gross per season, he will lose sight of a somewhat mean guy and avoid bad vibes in Continassa’s dressing room (they say he only got along with the third goalkeeper , Carlo Pinsoglio). Your two will be remembered scudetti and three Cups (although they did not sign him for that) and those 101 goals in 134 games will disappear. But the break, despite everything, will be considerable (on Saturday they already lost at home against Empoli). And now the club will have to replace him at full speed to prevail in Europe.
The break was caused by Ronaldo four days after the market closed. Something that has unsettled President Andrea Agnelli and his board of directors, already aware that the Portuguese was never in the least interested in the collective glory or the history of the team. Cristiano was just passing through. “Welcome to a club worthy of you,” his sister said on Saturday, perhaps revealing what Juventus really looked like to the Portuguese. And it’s a shame. Because your ego will be lost this year traveling in vaporetto to play against the recently promoted Venezia or visit the Salernitana field. It won’t matter. CR never understood the club’s traditions nor did he understand the society that received him as the last hope of the club. calcium.
In the photo was everything. Two of the three teams that insisted on the Super League have been scalded when they believed they could play at being Real Madrid (Barça did it in their own way for years pulling checkbooks and supposed galactics with Bartomeu). And Juve, following the maxim GatopardianaHe wanted to win by changing everything to end up returning to Allegri and for everything to be the same again with a team without Ronaldo.
You can follow EL PAÍS DEPORTES in Facebook and Twitter, or sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.