Football: La Liga chief not worried by Cristiano Ronaldo's departure for Italy's Serie A

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring a penalty during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between Real Madrid and Juventus, on April 11, 2018.
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring a penalty during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between Real Madrid and Juventus, on April 11, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

MADRID (REUTERS) - The president of La Liga, Javier Tebas, says he is not worried about the future value of the league's product after Cristiano Ronaldo - one of its most famous players - left Real Madrid to join Italian Serie A champions Juventus.

"In the last few years, we have been working to ensure a move like this does not have such a big impact," Tebas told Spanish newspaper Marca on Tuesday (July 10). "Before, I would have been worried nine out of 10, now I'm worried four out of 10. It's not the same and we've done a lot of work to ensure we do not depend on the transfer market.

"At La Liga, we are above the name of the players, just like Real Madrid is bigger than the brand of Cristiano Ronaldo."

La Liga is the second most valuable football league in Europe behind the English Premier League and ahead of the German Bundesliga.

Last month, it announced a new domestic broadcasting rights deal worth €3.4 billion (S$5.43 billion) until 2022, a 15 per cent increase on the previous deal.

It still lags behind the value of broadcasting rights in England's top flight, currently worth £4.46 billion (S$8.04 billion) until 2022.

Tebas, however, believes the growth of the league's value in recent years means it can stomach the loss of a player even of the stature of Ronaldo, the league's second-highest all-time goal scorer behind Lionel Messi of Barcelona.

 

"That would be a simplistic vision of the international market," he said. "The Premier League is the league that sells its broadcast rights for the biggest value and it doesn't have the best players nor the best clubs. The market for broadcasting rights does not work like this.

"No country has told me they would lower their offer for a league without Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi. That's not how it works. They buy the competition. Cristiano is leaving and other players are coming, but everyone has renewed without needing an offer for another player to be on the table."