ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti shares the latest on Cristiano Ronaldo's links to Juventus, including his motives for wanting to leave Madrid.
The hype over Cristiano Ronaldo's much-rumoured move to Juventus was thrown into overdrive on Saturday when a teasing video was reportedly posted and deleted by Juventus' official account on Chinese social media platform Weibo.
The video, as captured by a number of Italian media outlets, displays the names of players who have worn the No. 7 shirt for Juventus in the past and asks fans to pick their favourite.
It ends with room for one more name -- leading fans to speculate the post was hinting at an impending move for Ronaldo, who wears No. 7 for Real Madrid and Portugal.
🚨🚨 | A conta oficial da Juve na rede social chinesa Weibo publicou um vídeo no qual dá a entender que o número 7 da equipe deve mudar de dono na próxima temporada.
[Via: @diarioas] pic.twitter.com/NNDVy40rGO
— Nação Madridista (@nacaormcf) July 7, 2018
The video shows the names of the six players to wear the shirt since permanent numbers were assigned in the 1990s: Angelo Di Livio, Gianluca Pessotto, Hasan Salihamidzic, Simone Pepe, Simone Zaza and Juan Cuadrado.
Ronaldo, of course, would be No. 7 number seven.
There's no indication that the post was meant as a "leak" of Ronaldo's arrival -- it was posted on the seventh day of July, the seventh month, and may have just been to celebrate the date.
However, arriving as it did one day after Juventus were instructed by the Italian stock exchange to issue a statement downplaying the rumours in the face of a skyrocketing share price, fans can't be blamed for getting even more excited.
The rumours persisted into the weekend, with Italian TV station Mediaset suggesting that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez could announce at a board meeting on Tuesday that Ronaldo has requested a transfer.