Celebrated pro footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, who currently plays for club Real Madrid and the Portugal national team, could make his way to Italy’s Juventus Football Club in a €220-million ($258-million US) deal that has Fiat employees vexed.
Fiat – a major sponsor of Juventus, with strong ties through the Agnelli family’s businesses – has reportedly offered to pay Ronaldo’s €30-million annual salary for four years, as well as a €100-million transfer fee, in order to bring Ronaldo to Juventus. That doesn’t sit well with some Fiat workers, who say that the money Fiat might spend on Cristiano Ronaldo could instead be used to give workers their first pay increase in a decade.
“After [Gonzalo] Higuaín, now Cristiano Ronaldo, too,” Gerardo Giannone – a worker at Fiat’s Pomigliano D’Arco plant – told Diario AS. “It is a disgrace. Fiat workers have not had a pay rise in 10 years. With Cristiano’s salary we could give every worker an extra €200 [per month]. We have lost 10.7% in inflation over the last decade, something that has never been recovered. And FCA spends 126 million euros per year on sponsorship, of which 26.5 million is for Juventus.”
The Portugal national team was eliminated from the 2018 FIFA World Cup early on after losing to Uruguay. Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays forward and is currently team captain, is considered by many to be the best player in the world – possibly in history.