Cristiano Ronaldo’s Move to Juventus Conducted with Honor

Ben Polikoff, Maroon-News Staff

What would you do if you were the greatest player in the game? Would you stay with your current team? Would you go on to another nation and take on a new challenge? These are the questions that Cristiano Ronaldo was forced to answer over the course of this past summer.

After an early and abrupt exit in the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo re-evaluated his career. Even after shocking the world with his breathtaking free kick against Spain, Ronaldo thought there was room in his life for a change that would certainly alter his career. Ronaldo decided to take his talents to the Turin, Italy giants Juventus.

This move caught many people by surprise as there were no indications at Real Madrid of Ronaldo’s displeasure. But when we look at this transfer I do not think this is about the money, or even the alluring fame of another team. I think this is Ronaldo wanting something new, a new challenge to conquer.

Unlike other instances, Ronaldo handled his exit from Real Madrid with poise and class. He wrote a letter to the club, which was published publicly, in which he proclaimed his love for the club and how thankful he was for his time there.

“I’ve had nine absolutely marvelous years. They’ve been nine unique years. It has been an exciting time full of successes, although they’ve also been tough years because the demands at Real Madrid are extremely high, but I know very well that I’ll never be able to forget how I’ve enjoyed my football here in such a unique way,” Ronaldo said.

Having a response like this is an anomaly in sports these days. Often times, we see players with animosity towards their previous teams for, perhaps, not signing them or trading them. Ronaldo handled his exit with poise and humility. He is continuously thought of as this arrogant, selfish athlete, but this letter proves otherwise. However, he clearly was not searching for a pay raise or leaving Madrid out of spite. He left for a new challenge in a new city. Never in his letter does he say that he has any regrets, nor does he hold anything against any representative of Real Madrid. Oddly enough, he even declares his allegiance to Real Madrid at the end of the letter.

“I’ve given things a great deal of consideration and know that it’s time to embark on a new chapter. Despite me now leaving the club and regardless of where I am, I’ll forever feel an allegiance toward this shirt, this badge and the Santiago Bernabeu,” Ronaldo said.

American athletes could learn a lot from what Ronaldo has done. He has looked at leaving a team with a sense of nostalgia rather than just obtaining a pay raise. Athletes should look at Cristiano Ronaldo as a moral exemplar as he provides closure with Real Madrid. More athletes should look at leaving a team this way because these teams are the ones giving players the opportunity to play a sport for a living.

Ronaldo shows clear examples of humility and bravery through his move to Juventus. He clearly wants to face a new challenge and it should be very interesting to see how he does. All we can say now is that the man who is often portrayed to be arrogant has proved his haters wrong through the diligence and care he put into the process of leaving.

This is a sports opinion piece.

Contact Ben Polikoff at [email protected].