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As Ronaldo readies to leave Juventus, his stock legacy is fading

Cristiano Ronaldo’s stay in Italy hasn’t been the long-term boost for Juventus Football Club S.p.A.’s stock price that it once promised.
Image: Bloomberg

Cristiano Ronaldo’s stay in Italy hasn’t been the long-term boost for Juventus Football Club S.p.A.’s stock price that it once promised.

With the 36-year-old superstar reportedly in talks to join England’s Manchester City F.C., his impact on Juventus looks unremarkable — at least from the perspective of a trader. Shares of the Italian football club have risen some 30% since news about his joining broke in 2018, about the same as the broader European market.

To be sure, the bulk of Juventus’s 35% stock plunge last year was due to the pandemic wiping out ticket sales. But the stock was on a downward trajectory before the virus struck.

As a short-term trade, Ronaldo handed investors big gains. The excitement over the 100-million-euro ($118 million) signing of the star Portuguese player caused Juventus shares to soar about 150% in the first year.

Instagram’s most-followed person spurred more than half a million shirt sales within 24 hours of his July 2018 arrival, according to media reports at the time, and he also helped land new sponsorship deals with companies like financial services group Allianz SpA.

But since then, there’s been plenty of disappointment. The team failed to deliver the Champions League trophy desired by its owners, the billionaire Agnelli family. That’s despite Ronaldo becoming the first player to score more than 100 goals for the Turin club during their first three seasons.

Perhaps more of an issue was his estimated 30-million-euro annual salary. French brokerage Kepler Cheuvreux SA warned last year that Juventus would probably report a loss until Ronaldo leaves.

Juventus shares gained as much as 4.2% on Friday as the Guardian reported that Man City may pay as much as 30 million euros as a transfer fee.

© 2021 Bloomberg

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