Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus last summer and he didn’t just change things at Juventus with fans from certain clubs seemingly clamouring to see him, and others staying well away.
Juve might have dominated in Italy for nearly a decade but they signed Ronaldo last summer to help compete more in Europe.
Once again the Old Lady won Serie A, for the eighth year in a row, but they probably would have done so without the five time Ballon d’Or winner. One place he did have an affect on was at the home grounds of all the opposition, though for eight teams that meant far fewer fans going to the Juventus game than the season before.
Some very differing results in the crowd last year. Image: Imgur
Whilst fans of most clubs seem to take the chance to see Ronaldo as a reason to go and see their local team play against Juventus there were some who took the opposite approach.
Interestingly some of Juve’s closest rivals stayed away from the games against the champions last season, whether it’s related to the five time Ballon d’Or winner or not is anyone’s guess.
Last season’s Serie A runners up Napoli, third place Atalanta, fourth place Inter, fifth place AC Milan and sixth place Roma and seventh place Turin rivals Torino all had less fans at their game against the champions than they had the previous season, before Ronaldo’s signing.
Whilst all their closest league rivals, and closest geographical rivals Torino, all had lower attendances one rival actually shot up because of Ronaldo.
Fiorentina’s attendance rose from about 75% of the Artemio Franchi Stadium’s 43,147 capacity to about 95% full.
It wasn’t like the club could put it down to success of their own team either La viola finished eighth on 2017/18 but were lucky to escape relegation by just three points in the 2018/19 season.
Ronaldo celebrates against Fiorentina. Image: PA Images
Ronaldo will get to see what his impact on Serie A this season is starting on Saturday when Maurizio Sarri’s side face Parma away from home.
Having won the title for eight years in a row this might be the season they come under most pressure, with Antonio Conte at Inter likely to push his former side.