Former Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi on Wednesday told reporters that he would not have signed former Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo if he was still in charge of the Italian Club. The Serie A Champions signed Ronaldo in a €100 million deal in the summer transfer window this year, breaking the club’s transfer record.
Speaking to Italian newspaper Il Corriere dello, Moggi insisted the price paid for the Portuguese forward was way too much. “In terms of marketing, it’s a sensational deal. But I would never have spent such a high fee on a 33-year-old — and I would certainly not have announced it before selling Higuain, someone who scores 20 goals a season,” he said.
Moggi, who served as the Juventus manager between 1994 and 2006 further talked about how he managed to almost sign Ronaldo in 2003 before the deal fell through because striker Marcelo Salas denied a move to Sporting Lisbon and Juventus failed to pay a higher sum.
“I actually signed Cristiano Ronaldo. He was 18 and he played for Sporting Lisbon. I saw him and the next morning I signed the contract for 5 billion lire (£2.3m) plus our Salas, who would have received a 1b lire (£470,000) loyalty bonus. But then Salas preferred River Plate and Manchester United came in for Ronaldo,” he said.
“At the time, Juve were in a real crisis. We didn’t have a penny,” he added.
Ronaldo had a tough start to his time in Italy as he has failed to find the back of the net even once in the first two league matches.