Cristiano Ronaldo plays his first competitive game in Turin on Saturday as it was revealed that his arrival at Juventus has pushed the Serie A champions over the billion-euro mark on the Italian stock exchange.
According to Calcio e Finanza, a specialist sport and finance website, at the close of business on Friday, Juventus were valued at 1.035 billion euros ($1.2 billion).
It is the first time the club has reached that level since its introduction on the stock exchange in 2001.
That compares to Manchester United, the world’s richest club, whose overall value is £3.1bn ($3.9 billion).
Juventus’s shares have grown 55.15 per cent on the stock exchange since July 1, increasing from 0.660 euro to 1.024 euros.
“The rise peaked this summer, starting in June, when the first information about the possible arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo began circulating,” noted Calcio e Finanza.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner joined the Serie A champions from Real Madrid on July 10 in a 100-million-euro deal. He earns a salary of 30 million euros per year.
Since his arrival sales of the club’s black and white jersey have also exploded.
Calcio e Finanza added that the volume of share sales went from 19 million euros in June to 301 million euros in July.
Ronaldo played his first competitive game in a 3-2 win against Chievo in Verona last weekend. His first game in Turin is against Lazio on Saturday at 1600 GMT.
“There’s excitement in the air!” said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.
“Ronaldo is bringing a great enthusiasm to Italian football, I see all the people that are waiting outside, but regardless of the excitement, we still have to win games.
“We haven’t won anything just by signing him, so we have to show that on the pitch.
“Lazio will make it a great encounter, they defeated us last season at Allianz Stadium to end a 41-game unbeaten run. So it’s very important, even if it is only our second match of the season.”
Simone Inzaghi’s Roman side — who finished fifth last season — lost their opening match of the season 1-0 against Napoli.
“It would be wrong to only think about Ronaldo,” said Inzaghi.
“They’ll also play (Paulo) Dybala and (Mario) Mandzukic, and they have so many alternatives on the bench.”
Cristiano Ronaldo has landed in Turin ahead of his official unveiling as Juventus’ superstar summer signing on Monday afternoon, the Serie A champions announced on Sunday.
“Now arriving in Turin: @Cristiano!” the club wrote on its Twitter account, alongside a photo of Ronaldo with his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez in front of the private jet that brought him to Italy at Turin’s Caselle airport.
Juventus then posted a video of the plane landing and the player stepping down from the plane his entourage before being whisked off by club officials in a car with blacked out windows.
Ronaldo was expected to land in Italy on Monday morning after surprising the world and asking for a 100 million-euro ($116 million) move from European champions Real Madrid, with daily Repubblica reporting that as many as 20,000 fans were expected to greet him at the airport.
However, Ronaldo, who won four of the last five Champions Leagues with his former club, will now head for the Allianz Stadium for medicals on Monday before facing journalists’ questions at a media conference scheduled for 1630 GMT.
There the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will sign a four-year contract worth a reported 30 million euros a season in a deal that Italian media says will cost Juventus a total of 350 million euros.
La Repubblica reports that he will meet the team — who have begun pre-season training — on Monday afternoon, but will join them officially later in the month when they begin their summer tour of the United States.
There has been widespread speculation that Manchester City and Bosnian star Edin Dzeko will be moving on to another club tentatively Italy, after falling from the top allowing the likes of Aguero and Tevez take his shine.
Dzeko joined City in January 2011, after an extremely successful spell at Wolfsburg, but has largely struggled for form since, scoring just 16 goals in 45 games.
The striker’s agent Irfan Redzepagic said the Bosnian striker who left German club Wolfsburg to come and strike for Manchester City is keen to remain in England even though he is rated behind Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez in the pecking order.
Specualtion of the hitman’s movement from Manchester City started to grow when his agent met with Giuseppe Marotta; the manager of Juventus with an eye for an imminent move to Turin came into the picture but later the agent stressed that Dzeko is happy in England and has no immediate plans to leave City.
“But Edin plans to stay at Manchester City. I recently spoke with Marotta, but we talked about other things and we have not talked about Dzeko, because he wants to play in England at City. I think Edin won’t leave City, Irfan Redzepagic concluded.”