Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici has explained how a ‘look’ was the catalyst for Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer from Real Madrid last summer.
Explaining the process behind Ronaldo’s record-breaking move, Paratici [pictured, left] admitted it may never have happened if Juve did not face Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals a year ago.
“When we played in Madrid, Mendes came over to us like it usually happens on Champions League matchdays,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I told him, ‘Cristiano’s scored some incredible goals.’ I still had in my eyes, with admiration and pain, the comeback.
“He looks at me and replies: ‘You won’t believe it but Cristiano, if he changes teams, wants to join Juve. Keep in mind it’s less strange than you may think. We’ll talk about it later.’
“I thought about making a sudden outburst, but I started to think about it. I found myself at Linate’s private flight airport with Mendes and Giovanni Branchini to close a deal for the phenomenon Cancelo, which was a no-brainer.
“Mendes looked at me again. Now it was clear that he was serious: ‘Remember the other thing, you’ll see Ronaldo leave Madrid. I’ll tell you clearly: the player only wants to sign for Juve. He played for Manchester United, who are the biggest English team, then Real Madrid. He only plays for teams with history. He’s never played in Italy, he wants to win the Italian title too. If you want him, he’s there.’
“I told him: ‘Okay, in that case tell me a little about what we’re talking about.’ Of course, I hadn’t forgotten about what he told me and I certainly wanted Ronaldo.
“I arrived there prepared. I thought, ‘if he speaks again I want to see, like in poker, what cards he has in his hand.’
“’This is the salary, this is the transfer fee,’ he says. ‘Let me take a few days to think and then I’ll give you an answer.’
“I didn’t say ‘no’, otherwise he would’ve looked elsewhere.”