Cristiano Ronaldo is making headlines in the Italian soccer world. During a recent media talk, Cristiano Ronaldo made fiery comments on Serie A. Ronaldo addressed the media after playing the first half of Al Nassr’s 5-0 preseason loss to La Liga side Celta Vigo in his native Portugal. He discussed various topics, but one particular comment sparked controversy in Italian soccer.
Ronaldo boasted about his brand and the buzz and engagement he generates wherever he goes. He provided the example of his move to Serie A, joining Juventus from Real Madrid. Ronaldo confidently stated, “My decision to join Saudi clubs was 100% crucial in bringing in new top players. It’s a fact.”
Furthermore, he added, “When I joined Juventus, Serie A was considered dead, but after I signed… it was revived. Wherever Cristiano goes, he generates higher interest.”
— CITI FM 97.3 (@Citi973) July 13, 2018
In 2018, Cristiano Ronaldo made the move to Juventus following his fifth UEFA Champions League triumph with Real Madrid. The transfer created significant buzz and discussions within the soccer world, especially during the summer after the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The move attracted a new wave of fans who closely followed Ronaldo’s journey, bringing in a fresh influx of viewers eager to witness the Portuguese star’s performances for the Old Lady week in and week out.
Was Serie A dead before Ronaldo?
However, Ronaldo’s comments about the revival of Serie A seem farfetched. While he did bring a new wave of attention and viewership, stating that Serie A was dead before his arrival is a bit of a stretch.
The Italian league boasts some of the oldest clubs in the world of soccer, with loyal fan bases for teams like AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, Napoli, Roma, Fiorentina, and Lazio.
A league with such prominent clubs cannot be considered dead in soccer, especially when it was already one of the top five leagues in Europe when Ronaldo joined. These recent comments may be seen as Ronaldo protecting his brand value since moving away from Europe.
The viewership numbers of Saudi League and Serie A after Cristiano Ronaldo joined them.
Ronaldo asserted that wherever he goes, he generates higher interest, and it’s hard to argue with that statement considering the magnitude of Cristiano Ronaldo’s brand and fan base, which are among the largest in the world. While it may be challenging to quantify the exact benefit of Ronaldo’s presence in a league, we can examine some numbers to draw certain conclusions.
In 2018, Ronaldo made the move from La Liga to Serie A. During his time in Italy, Ronaldo significantly boosted the viewership of Juventus matches, increasing it by 60%. Reports indicate that the club’s viewership numbers surged to 2 million per match. Juventus was able to capture the attention of viewers from the USA, where many fans preferred to watch La Liga and the Premier League.
A shirt sold every minute! That’s what the Cristiano Ronaldo Effect does for Juventus ⚫⚪👕
— GOAL (@goal) August 17, 2018
Ronaldo’s debut for Juventus drew 2.3 million viewers in Italy, marking the fourth-highest audience in Sky Italia history. These numbers clearly demonstrate the impact of Ronaldo on Juventus’ viewership, thereby contributing to the overall increase in viewership for Serie A.
Shifting the focus to the Saudi Pro League, Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr in January 2023. As it is still a recent move, concrete viewership reports are still emerging. However, some estimates suggest a sevenfold increase in viewership for Al-Nassr matches due to Ronaldo’s presence in Saudi Arabia.
While Ronaldo’s claims about Serie A being dead before his arrival may lack substance, one cannot deny his ability to generate buzz wherever he goes. His brand is incredibly strong and lucrative, and his impact on viewership numbers is evident in the leagues he has played in.