Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer from Real Madrid to Juventus will have a revitalising effect on Italian football, according to former Madrid and AC Milan playmaker Kaka.
The Bianconeri persuaded Madrid to part ways with their all-time leading goal-scorer, agreeing a €100 million (£88m/$117m) deal, and the five-time Ballon d’Or winning forward completed his medical in Turin on Monday.
Former Brazil international Kaka, who moved from Sao Paulo to Milan in 2003 and then spent four years at Madrid before returning to San Siro, believes the presence of Ronaldo in Serie A could help to restore the country’s sporting reputation, referencing the Italian football scandal of 2006 that saw Juventus relegated to Serie B.
“Ronaldo to Juventus is a good thing for whole of Serie A,” Kaka told Omnisport, speaking courtesy of Adidas.
“Playing for Juventus is great.
“Italian football had difficult moments in the past but Juventus survived and became great again in Italy and Europe after a negative period.
“They’ve restarted after Serie B and they are a great team in Italy and Europe now. They signed one of the most important players and are bringing him to Italy.”
Ronaldo will aim to help Juventus win their eighth consecutive Serie A title in 2018-19, and the club’s supporters will hope he can bring their long wait for a third Champions League trophy to an end.
Juve last won Europe’s premier club competition in 1996, but lost the final in 2015 to Barcelona and to Madrid in 2017, Los Blancos and Ronaldo also knocking them out in the quarter-finals last season.
But Kaka feels the Ronaldo effect will be not just in Turin, but throughout Serie A and Italy’s lower leagues.
“All the other teams will have an advantage thanks to this big name,” said the 36-year-old.
“In my opinion, as an Italian football lover and Milan supporter, it’s going to be a nice thing for Italian football.”
Kaka specifically believes this can be an inspiration to his old club, who have fallen on hard times of late.
The club have not won Serie A since 2010-11, and have not finished top four since 2012-13.
Now Milan also face a ban from European football for one year, but Kaka hopes the Ronaldo signing provides an opportunity for the club they can take advantage of.
“I prefer to see the positive side [about Ronaldo’s signing],” Kaka added.
“This thing has to be an example for Milan. Even with a negative period, it’s possible to become great again.
“They have to take advantage of this moment because the attention is on Italian football.
“Cristiano Ronaldo brings many good things to Italian football; media, sponsors and supporters keen to see him and Italian teams.
“For Italian football, it’s the moment to take advantage of this player.”