Workers at Juventus sponsor Fiat are said to be upset at reports that their supposedly cash-strapped employer has offered to help pay Cristiano Ronaldo’s multi-million salary should be move to Turin.
The reported €100 million fee and four-year contract at €30m per season after tax would seriously stretch Juve’s finances — but Sport Mediaset has reported that Fiat has offered to take Ronaldo on as a brand ambassador, with the motor company and club sponsor then assuming a hefty part of the cost involved.
Gonzalo Higuain’s €90m arrival at Juve from Napoli two years ago also angered some employees, and the proposed Ronaldo deal is being described as “shameful” in Italian press reports.
“After Higuain, now Cristiano Ronaldo too,” said Gerardo Giannone, who works at Fiat’s Pomigliano D’Arco factory near Napoli. “It is a disgrace. Fiat workers have not had a pay rise in 10 years. With Cristiano’s salary we could give every worker an extra €200 [a month].”
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Former Italy coach Dino Zoff had a different view on the potential transfer, as he told Radio Marca that bringing the five-time Ballon d’Or winner would be a coup for Serie A, although not a guarantee of Juve winning a first Champions League since 1996.
“[Ronaldo signing] would be very important for Italian football, and for Juve to have him in their team,” Zoff said. “Italian football would be getting back the very top players, like 10 or 15 years ago. Cristiano could help Juventus win the Champions League again, although it is not something mathematical.”
While a source close to Ronaldo has told ESPN FC that nothing has yet been decided over his future, Marca’s cover on Friday morning claimed that “CR7 has already given his word to [Juventus chairman Andrea] Agnelli,” while inside is an article that points out how warm Juve have been with him, compared to the cold shoulder shown by Madrid president Florentino Perez.
poRTada de Marca pic.twitter.com/1VS05fQlDT
J. I. Gallardo (@JIGallardo) July
According to “El Larguero” radio show, Madrid’s hierarchy want Ronaldo to come out publicly and say he wants to leave, before they will sanction deal with Juventus, so fans know that the club’s all-time record scorer has not been forced out.
Talk around the Spanish capital has also turned to a potential big send off should Ronaldo actually end his association with Madrid this summer, with AS recalling that exactly nine years, 450 goals and 438 games have passed since 85,000 fans packed the Bernabeu to welcome him on arrival from Manchester United on July 6, 2009.
Selene Scarsi contributed to this report.