Capturing the Moment
The Italian Cristiano Ronaldo
The year was 2018, and like all the other years, Cristiano Ronaldo was rocking the sports world. Only this time it wasn’t because of his actions on the field, but his actions off the field. Ronaldo was kicking the summer off by parting ways with his 9-year relationship with Real Madrid to transfer to the Italian club Juventus. Over the course of his career, Ronaldo scored 450 goals and set multiple records while playing for the Spanish club team. The terms of his trade set a record, too, with a Serie A transfer fee reaching 117 million dollars1 (ESPN).
Ronaldo’s move to Juventus was surprising since he had made his career with Real Madrid. However, Ronaldo was making front page news for other reasons too. Just three months after Real Madrid’s official announcement of Ronaldo’s departure, his rape claim case was reopened. In the midst of the “Me Too” movement, encouraging sexual assault victims to be heard, Ronaldo was named as an attacker. Shortly after the case broke the news, the soccer community and the world were waiting for statements from the club. Juventus responded with a series of tweets backing Ronaldo and endorsing his professionalism.3 Their response was met with criticism from the public. The public sent a message by dropping the club’s share value by 10%. Ronaldo’s transfer was now turning controversial because of the rape allegations brought against him.3 On the one hand, he was a superior soccer athlete as evidenced by the huge transfer fee paid. But on the other hand, he was being accused of rape, throwing into question his moral behavior.
While dealing with the rape case, Ronaldo hit a goal drought. Now, critics were aiming at Ronaldo’s play on the field. They questioned whether the Ronaldo deal was worth it in light of the distractions from media outlets about his goal drought and rape allegation. Ronaldo played 320 minutes in his Juventus career before scoring his first of two goals while playing against Sassuolo Calcio . The defying moment came in the 49th minute of that game, when Paulo Dybala sent a corner kick into the box. The ball traveled with tremendous velocity and spin as if it was on fire3 (YouTube). With perfect accuracy, Dybala connected with Leonardo Bonucci who was cutting into the box to score. Bonucci with only seconds to act, in a swarm of defenders, attempted a bicycle kick for the score. His kick failed, being shot into the ground and into the defense. A defender tried to head the ball out of bounds. Miraculously, the defender’s header sent the ball bouncing off the left post. The keeper, still reacting to the defender’s header off the post, was out of position, leaving an empty net. While the ball was still in the air, Cristiano Ronaldo swooped in from the center of the box to tap the ball in for a goal. The crowd erupted with a sincere and new excitement because it was Ronaldo’s first goal with Juventus. Ronaldo, known to play with his emotions on his sleeve, erupted with tensed muscles and a stern look on his face overflowing with masculinity and dominance. He ran over to the corner to embrace the crowd where he did his signature celebration. The star embraced his team and celebrated with fans in the stadium, while the rest of the world watched. This goal was not only monumental to his career because it was his first goal with his new Italian team, it was monumental because he was able to silence the critics concerning all the controversy surrounding the transfer, proving he was a good investment for the club. Ronaldo proved he was a good investment for scoring goals and winning games. The question still remains whether Ronaldo was a good investment morally for Juventus. The star’s case is still an ongoing investigation.
 “Cristiano Ronaldo Leaves Real Madrid to Sign with Juventus.” ESPN, ESPN Internet Ventures, 10 July 2018, www.espn.com/soccer/soccer-transfers/story/3560356/cristiano-ronaldo-leaves-real-madrid-to-join-juventus.
 Smith, Adam. “Ronaldo’s Stellar Real Madrid Career in Stats Ahead of Juventus Move.” Sky Sports, Sky Sports, 11 July 2018, www.skysports.com/football/news/11096/11428305/ronaldos-stellar-real-madrid-career-in-stats-ahead-of-juventus-move.
 “Ronaldo Rape Allegation.” BBC News, BBC, www.bbc.com/news/topics/c12jzjr2m73t/ronaldo-rape-allegation.