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Former Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo has launched legal action against Juventus as he seeks to recover unpaid wages from the Serie A giants. The Portuguese superstar has opted to take the Italian giants to court over a huge payment that he is claiming he is owed by his former club, who have been hit by financial difficulties over the past three years.
The 38-year-old, who signed a £175million-a-year contract with Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr until 2025 after leaving United in November, is looking to retrieve an eye-watering sum from Juve. It relates to a period during the coronavirus pandemic where Ronaldo went months without being paid after agreeing to assist the club.
According to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, Ronaldo is reportedly now ready to collect the sum of around £17.1m (€19.9m) through the courts after requesting documentation from the Turin Prosecutor’s Office.
After reviewing the documents, Ronaldo ‘decided to take legal action’ to recover the money, which he agreed to forego during the lockdown period between 2019 and 2020. Juventus struck an agreement with the former Manchester United star to delay a payment of a large portion of his salary until the club were able to get back on their feet due to the constraints from the Covid pandemic.
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It is not the first time Juventus have faced paying out a huge amount. The club agreed to pay their former striker Paulo Dybala – now at AS Roma – a £2.5m settlement after he was owed back pay just like Ronaldo. However, their crippling financial problems have mounted and it remains to be seen whether they can afford to repay the Portugal international.
The club were hit with a 15-point deduction by an Italian football court investigating the club’s transfer dealings. Manager Massimiliano Allegri saw his side tumble down to 10th in the Serie A table. They eventually finished seventh, but the impact of not qualifying for the Champions League will certainly impact their revenue.
Ronaldo arrived in Turin in a record £88million transfer from Real Madrid in 2018 after ending his nine-year association with the Spanish side, having scored 430 goals in just 438 appearances. He signed a four-year contract worth £25m a year after tax, making him the club’s highest earner by some margin.
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He helped the Bianconeri win Serie A titles in all three of his seasons in Italy, but ultimately failed to spearhead the club towards Champions League success. He decided to rejoin United in 2021 in a £12m deal but lasted less than 18 months at Old Trafford before he was released following a falling out with Erik ten Hag.
Now embarking on a new adventure in Saudi Arabia, Ronaldo’s signing for Al-Nassr has triggered a mass exodus from players from Europe seeking a huge payday. Neymar, Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante are just three big names heading to the Arabian Gulf, with dozens of players flocking to the Middle East.
Ronaldo’s deal remains unbeaten in the financial aspect as the biggest in football history after Kylian Mbappe snubbed a reported £600m offer. But it seems he is unwilling to put the past behind him in claiming what he feels is rightfully his, with Juve potentially facing a huge bill to clear their debt.
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