Cristiano Ronaldo shirts have been flying of the shelves in Italy, to the extent that Juventus’ official online store collapsed under the demand on Wednesday, a day after the Portuguese superstar’s move to Turin was confirmed.
That gave Michele Criscitiello, the editor of Sportitalia, an idea.
“We knew that the transfer had been sorted out in Greece and we wanted to be there to cover it live and decided we’d try and get the first Juve shirt signed by Cristiano as a prize,” he told AS.
Journalist Carmine Rossi was duly dispatched to the Costa Navarino resort where Ronaldo is on holiday with his family with a Juventus shirt hastily purchased at the airport.
Arriving on Tuesday, he was able to snap some photographs of Juventus president Andrea Agnelli arriving to speak to the Portugal captain and was quickly ejected.
Opportunist tourist helps himself to signed Ronaldo shirt
Hunting around for an accomplice, Rossi found an Italian tourist who was staying at the Costa Navarino and handed him the shirt. “Please, can you ask Cristiano to sign it. I can’t go back without it,” Rossi said. “No problem, I’ll see what I can do,” came the reply.
That was the last Rossi saw of his envoy, and the shirt. After hours of trying to get hold of the tourist on his mobile, a picture of his daughter wearing the shirt was posted on Instagram. When the phone was eventually picked up, Rossi’s worst fears were made concrete: “Sorry, I’ve decided to keep it,” he was told.
Shortly afterwards, the shirt appeared on Ebay and an offer of 13,000 euros had already been made.
“We’re going to report him to the police,” Criscitiello told AS. “And when we get the shirt back we’re going to auction it for charity.”