Soccer fans all around the world know that the transfer window is open, with players having the liberty to joining their dream clubs, that is if said clubs can afford their transfer fee. As is the case with all other most summer transfer windows in the sports industry, there has been a lot to watch out for in the world of soccer.
There was a lot of drama surrounding French superstar Antoine Griezmann, who eventually joined Barcelona from Atlético Madrid. The Catalans had also hoped to sign one Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax, but ended losing him to Juventus.
de Ligt faces off with Cr7 in the Champions League
And guess who’s taking credit for having de Light join the Old Lady? Who else, if not Cristiano Ronaldo, better known as Cr7 to his millions of fans. With Juventus acquiring de Ligt’s services for $95 million, this transfer is currently the highlight of the transfer window.
While everyone is waiting to see whether Neymar Jr. will rejoin Barcelona in what may turn out to be a record signing, Cr7 is out joking that we should now refer to him as Agent Ronaldo.
However, according to ESPN’s Simon Kuper, although Ronaldo may have slightly influenced the young player’s decision to join Juventus, it was actually three other renowned names in the footballing world that were responsible for the move; Pavel Nedved, Fabio Cannavaro, and Mino Raiola.
Agent Ronaldo requesting de Ligt to join JuveAs you may very well know, de Light is a Dutch international, while Cr7 is Portuguese. The two countries met in the final of this year’s Nations League competition, where Ronaldo’s team got the better of the Dutch. At the end of it all, Cr7 was seen embracing de Ligt, and the youngster rater revealed that the 5-time Ballon d’Or winner asked him to join the Italian giants.
The then Ajax player claims that he was shocked by Cr7’s request, and he responded by laughing it off. As fate would have it, it would only be a month before the two became teammates at club level. If you were Cristiano, you’d take credit for it too, right?
It Was Always Meant to Be
But going by Simon Kuper’s report, de Ligt’s move to Juve was cast in stone long before the young man ever set foot on a football field. The player’s agent happens to be Mino Raiola, a man who made a name for himself in the ’90s by setting up Dutch players to ply their trade in Italy.
Raiola was also Pavel Nedved’s agent, and was crucial in the midfielder’s move from Lazio to Juventus back in 2001. Of the player, Raiola says that he was a workaholic who was instrumental in helping Juventus lift two Serie A trophies.
Though Nedved’s playing days are long gone, he’s still at Juventus as sporting director, and was one of the executives tasked with drawing up de Ligt’s contract. Given Raiola’s relationship with Nedved, he knew that the director would receive de Ligt with open arms, given the similarities in their style of play.
As for Cannavaro, the defender was de Ligt’s idol growing up. He led his country to World Cup glory in 2006, and the 19-year-old still has a Juventus jersey with the player’s name on it. He got it when he was just 7!