Lionel Messi must follow Ronaldo to Italy, says Serie A CEO
De Siervo who was appointed Chief Executive of Serie A last year, said that if ever the Barcelona star - whose contract with the Spanish giants runs out in 2020-21 season - decides to join another team, the clubs in Italy will jump to sign him
Serie A football league CEO, Luigi De Siervo is confident that the Italian league has the quality to attract top footballers and reckoned Argentine great Lionel Messi will follow Cristiano Ronaldo in playing for one of the teams in Italy.
De Siervo, 49, who was appointed Chief Executive of Serie A last year, said that if ever the Barcelona star — whose contract with the Spanish giants runs out in 2020-21 season — decides to join another team, the clubs in Italy will jump to sign him.
"Messi is very fond of Barcelona, so we need to see. But never say never. If he wants to try the most difficult championship in the world, he will have to come to us! Having two of the greatest players of all time with us would mean a lot for the global re-launch of our brand and I am sure that our clubs, if they had the chance, would do anything to have him," said the Florence-born De Siervo.
Messi's arch-rival and Portuguese superstar Ronaldo joined Serie A club Juventus last season from La Liga side Real Madrid and De Siervo admits the former Manchester United star has helped raise league's popularity. "The arrival of Ronaldo was very important for Serie A. His global popularity, combined with his football skills, make him a priceless treasure of our league. He has raised the popularity of both Juventus and Serie A in general," said De Siervo.
Unlike other leagues, the Serie A has been dominated by Juventus, who have won the title for the last eight consecutive seasons, and 35 times overall, making it a one-horse race. But De Siervo feels the dominance of the Turin club has not affected viewership of the Italian league, which is officially broadcast in India by the Sony Pictures Sports Network. "The domination of Juventus, fortunately, has not affected our viewership. Moreover, the average attendance at stadiums and the TV audience figures have also grown recently" claimed De Siervo.
"The Italian championship is most difficult, extremely tactical and defence-oriented. Except for this recent series of Juventus's victories, there have been two or more teams who have fought for the title. This year, with the signing of high-quality reinforcements by some of the title contenders, I'm sure there will be a fight for the championship," added. De Siervo.
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