A former director of Juventus football club, Luciano Moggi, has questioned the club’s decision to buy Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese superstar cost the Italian club €100m, which for a 33-year-old at the tail end of his career is a significant outlay.
The move was criticised by some workers of FIAT, who felt that the money could be better invested in better working conditions for staff.
Fiat is partly owned by the Agnelli family who also own Juventus.
While Moggi conceded that the deal for Cristiano Ronaldo was an astute one from a financial standpoint seeing the massive amounts realised from shirt sales, he was unconvinced that it made sense from a sporting perspective.
He said: “In terms of marketing, it’s a sensational deal.
“But I would never have spent such a high fee on a 33-year-old – and I would certainly not have announced it before selling Higuain, someone who scores 20 goals a season.
“First I would have sold Higuain for €50m (£45m) and only then would I have announced Ronaldo.”
Moggi also denied that he had a hand in bringing Ronaldo in, stating that his attempts at bringing Ronaldo to Juventus died in 2003 when his initial attempt to bring the Portuguese failed.
He added: “That’s Fiat stuff.
“I actually signed Cristiano Ronaldo. He was 18 and he played for Sporting Lisbon.
“I saw him and the next morning I signed the contract for 5 billion lire (£2.3m) plus our [Marcelo] Salas, who would have received a 1b lire (£470,000) loyalty bonus.
“But then Salas preferred River Plate and Manchester United came in for Ronaldo.
“At the time, Juve were in a real crisis. We didn’t have a penny.”
Cristiano Ronaldo is yet to score for his new club and will be hoping to break his duck when the champions take on Parma on Saturday.