Monday, 30th October 2017

E- paper

Serie A looks up to stars

Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival at Juventus a huge boost for Serie A

By Angshuman Roy in Calcutta
  • Published 21.09.19, 4:19 AM
  • Updated 21.09.19, 4:19 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
Cristiano Ronaldo (Wikimedia Commons)

Serie A CEO Luigi De Siervo feels Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival at Juventus last season was not only a high for the club, but also a huge boost for the league.

“Cristiano’s arrival represents a big point for us. Often, we forget what it means to have one of the most successful footballers in the history of the game in Serie A: it’s not just good for Juventus, but for the whole football movement. The presence of Cristiano is a great incentive, for his team and the opponents. The young ones emulate him, the younger lot work harder to mark him. His contribution to Serie A’s development and growth is priceless.” De Siervo told The Telegraph.

“Sample this. Thanks to the international visibility guaranteed by his more than 180 million followers, the Instagram account of Juventus has gone from around 10 million followers in July 2018 to the current 31 million. He has given new impetus to our championship,” Di Siervo added.

The Serie A, this season has seen influx of a glut of stars from other leagues. Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez (both Inter Milan), and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (AS Roma) are the new faces in Serie A.

Di Siervo pointed out how significant that is for Serie A. “Unfortunately, in recent years we witnessed draining of talent, mainly due to the fact that our teams were struggling. But now we have managed to attract great players again. It’s not only Lukaku or Sanchez, but also Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus), Franck Ribery (Fiorentina) and Diego Godin (Inter Milan). They will contribute to making our league more exciting.”

There is a perception that Serie A has lost its lustre to English Premier League and LaLiga, but De Siervo refuses to buy that.

“Not entirely. It is true that proportionally, Serie A has grown less than Premier League or LaLiga, but we are regaining ground.

“We must encourage arrival of great champions to increase competitiveness. Serie A will be soon be back as the most appreciated European league,” he said.

Juventus have won the domestic title eight consecutive times, but the CEO doesn’t believe it’s a one-team league.

Asked about the league’s plan for the Asian market, he said: “Since last year, we have had a game on Saturdays at 3pm, as well on Sundays at 12.30 pm, which correspond to prime time in Asia.”

For the record, Sony Pictures Sports Network is the official broadcaster of Serie A in India.