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Ronaldo & Juventus: Why Florentino will regret this 'winning' union

COMMENT: Beppe Marotta. Andrea Agnelli. They're no mugs. They know what they're doing at Juventus. But those at Real Madrid...

In less than 48 hours we'll know more. A rattled Florentino Perez has called a board meeting for Tuesday. The Real president has kept his own counsel, refusing to offer any public utterance on Juve, Cristiano Ronaldo and that €100m 'promise'.

€100m? €100m for the Ballon d'Or? That's what Juve believe they only need pay to land the Portuguese. In an age when Kylian Mbappe will go for €180m. €140m is needed for Moussa Dembele. Ronaldo's asking price is chump change. Even today, we're hear PSG are offering €270m for Philippe Coutinho at Barcelona.

And yet Ronaldo is now waiting in the Peloponnese. By his phone. For a call from Jorge Mendes, his long time agent, that terms between Real and Juve for €100m have been settled. Could Agnelli, the Italians' president, have mapped out this deal any better?

But that's Juve. They're a proper football club. Existing for one thing: on field success. For all the anxiety engulfing Florentino today there's several - indeed the majority - of board members slapping him on the back. Get rid, they say. Take the money and run. But Juve know what they're doing. As does Ronaldo. This union will be formed with one objective - to win.

Two years ago. Before PSG and Neymar transformed the transfer market. Juve slapped in €90-odd million to sign a 29 year-old Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli. No Premier League club, with their Moneyball palava, would've dared such a move. Indeed, no club across Europe, bar PSG, would've rolled the dice. But Juve did. And it was done with one aim: to win. Two years later, Higuain - and the Bianconeri - boast two Scudetti titles, two Coppas and a run to the Champions League final. But that's Juve today. A trophy winning machine.

And this is what attracts Ronaldo. If it was down to money, a deal with PSG would be in its final stages of negotiation. And beyond Europe, there's clubs in China willing to make him the highest paid player in the game. For all the noise of demands he be paid more than Lionel Messi and Neymar, Ronaldo knows he won't get at Juve. But unlike PSG - and also Manchester United - he won't be required to take part in a rebuilding job. The Portuguese, at 33, will be parachuted into Juventus stadium with the simple demand of maintaining their dominance of Serie A - and giving the club that extra, final push in the Champions League.

As mentioned, inside Real's boardroom there's a hostility towards Ronaldo. Many who sit at the board really do want to see him go. The final straw was the Champions League final.

But it wasn't so much what he said that upset many inside the club. That little claim of "it was very nice to be at Real Madrid", angered his teammates more than any director.

Where he did cross the line for those upstairs was his celebratory 'five' sign on the Olimpiyskiy pitch at the final whistle. The images were beamed around the world. The photos carried in every newspaper across Europe.

"Five? Five what?" one source told Tribalfootball.com in the aftermath. "We all know what he was doing. It was four Champions League titles for us... and one for Manchester United.

"It's always about him. It always has been."

Which is why there has been next-to-no movement over new contract negotiations since Kiev. Florentino could have settled this long ago. Indeed, he could do it today - simply match Juve's €24m-a-year offer and Ronaldo will stay. But the president won't.

Instead, this column is hearing from Ronaldo's camp that Florentino is "playing dirty". It's now being claimed on Florentino's side of the table that his offer to 'release' Ronaldo for €100m this summer actually included a deadline - June 15. And as such, he is now telling Juve it'll take more to get their man.

But that's no problem for Juve. They anticipated as much. And have budgeted for €150m to bring Ronaldo to Turin.

Juve will part with the money happily - and with their eyes wide open. This isn't about romance or Calcio fantasy. It's about what today's Juve are built for: trophies.

And with Ronaldo, at 33 and in their No7 shirt, Juventus know he is their best shot at bringing the Champions League crown back to Italy.

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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