Bengaluru, August 6: When you sign a player worth €100 million that too at the age of 33, one can expect him to have a much bigger influence than that just on the field. And apparently, Cristiano Ronaldo has begun his influence of his new side Juventus, by influencing the return of Leonardo Bonucci back to Turin.
Ronaldo's arrival at Turin meant that he naturally would become the highest earner of Juventus and also be the central figure for anything that happens on field for the club. This meant that Ronaldo replaced his former Real Madrid team-mate Gonzalo Higuain to be the most important figure on pitch. It isn't a strange fact that Ronaldo's arrival at Turin is indeed not for an eighth consecutive Serie A title, but for the ultimate prize - the Champions League trophy. And Ronaldo wanted proven players at the back to achieve this goal.
Bonucci's shock transfer to AC Milan just a season back came out of the blue. And although Juventus managed to win a domestic double in that season, they clearly lacked a solid wall in their legendary back line. For Bonucci, the Italian endured a tough first season at San Siro. But reports suggest that Ronaldo convinced both Max Allegri and Leonardo Bonucci to keep aside their last season differences and look for the ultimate prize.
Juve legend Alessandro Del Piero said only this week, "Winning the Champions League is now a priority." In truth, it is the sole priority.
Which is very clear as Juventus have resigned a 31-year old defender for a 24-year old Caldara, who could have been a long-time successor for the Old Lady. However, the deal has left Juventus fans bewildered over such an approach from the club.
Higuain's tranfer made both sporting and financial sense, as an €18 million loan fee, with a view to a permanent transfer next summer for an additional €36m, represents excellent value for a 30-year-old striker. But a straight swap for Bonucci and Caldara could prove costly for Juventus in the long run.