Photo via AP
Questions are once again being raised about Cristiano Ronaldo’s future at Juventus, after the Italian club suffered yet another Champions League exit.
Juve beat Porto 3-2 in this morning’s (March 10th) last-16 second leg, but were still dumped out on away goals with the tie level at 4-4 on aggregate.
This is the second season in a row that Juve have been eliminated in the last-16.
And some of the blame is being placed on the shoulders of Ronaldo, who was brought to Turin specifically to help them win the Champions League.
Juve spent 100 milion Euros to sign the Portuguese superstar from Real Madrid, and they continue to spend an estimated 30 million a year on his salary.
But three seasons on, and the Italian club has yet to make it past the quarterfinals of Europe’s premier club competition.
Make no mistake… even at 36, Ronaldo remains one of the best players on the planet, and his goals were crucial in Juve’s Serie A triumphs over the last two seasons.
But the main purpose of bringing him in was to help the club achieve European success – and in this regard Juve’s strategy has failed.
However, some critics have pointed out that rather than blaming Ronaldo, the fault lies with Juventus, who were more interested in the player’s marketing and branding possibilities than finding someone who would be a better fit for the squad.
The fact that they then built the team around Ronaldo and expected him to bang in all the goals in Europe does not help, either.
For what it's worth, Ronaldo still has another year on his Juventus contract, and as it stands both parties look set to honour that deal.
But it's looking increasingly likely now that the player will be searching for greener pastures once his current contract is up.
by Nicholas Darren John