Cristiano Ronaldo exit from Real Madrid worries La Liga president '4 out of 10'
La Liga president Javier Tebas says he is not worried about the future value of the league after Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Real Madrid for Juventus.
Ronaldo departs Madrid for Juventus in a €100 million move having scored 450 goals in nine seasons in Spain, winning 16 trophies including four Champions Leagues and two La Liga titles.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner's personal battle with Barcelona's Lionel Messi also helped La Liga to significantly increase their broadcast revenues over that time, but Tebas told Spanish newspaper Marca on Tuesday that work had been done to ensure that the league's brand was now stronger than any individual player.
"In the last few years we have been working to ensure a move like this does not have such a big impact," Tebas said. "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 Premier League and ahead of the Bundesliga.
Last month it announced a new domestic broadcasting rights deal worth €3.4 billion until 2022, a 15 percent increase on the previous deal.
It still lags behind the value of broadcasting rights in England's top flight, currently worth £4.46 billion until 2022.
Meanwhile, former Madrid player and sporting director Predrag Mijatovic says that Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar is the only possible replacement to bring what Madrid now need on and off the pitch.
Madrid president Florentino Perez will now reportedly consider replacements including PSG pair Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi and Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane.
But only Brazil forward Neymar brings together all the different elements which Ronaldo brought to the Bernabeu in terms of both goals and marketing power, Mijatovic told radio show "El Larguero," adding that he was not sure Perez had a deal in place to land his long-term target.
Cristiano Ronaldo on the move
Ronaldo to join Juventus: The latest news and reaction
Marcotti: The inside story of Ronaldo's transfer
ESPN FC TV: Transfer changes European football landscape
ESPN FC TV: Will Ronaldo keep scoring goals in Serie A?
How the social media world reacted
What are the most expensive transfers of all time?
"My feeling now is that Madrid do not have a clear idea of what they must do now," Mijatovic said. "That is the worry ahead of next season, where to find a player who can give what Ronaldo has given. To sign someone now to score 50 or 60 goals is going to be difficult, no other player can guarantee that as Ronaldo has in these last nine years.
"I believe Neymar is the best to cover the loss, of all the players who have been at the World Cup, Neymar is the one who brings all that Madrid need, both talking about football and image. The image issue is something very important for Madrid, who need to bring in €600m a year just to survive. But that is not to say that it is possible. He only signed [for PSG] last year."
Mijatovic, a close ally of ex-Madrid president Ramon Calderon, who put a deal in place to sign Ronaldo before Perez took over the role in 2009, said he was not sure Madrid had done everything possible to convince their record goalscorer to stay a couple of more seasons.
"I would have done everything possible for him to stay," he said. "And I don't think it is that difficult to sort out, the problem between Cristiano and Madrid has been coming for a while. I understand that a player can want to leave, but you need to have a plan prepared for that.
"I don't know the situation from inside, but as a Madrid fan, they should have done everything possible to make sure we enjoyed him for one or two more years. It has all happened in a strange way, him talking of his upset after winning the Champions League final. A lot has gone on, and maybe Madrid thought he would stay, but the player clearly wanted to leave."
The goal-scoring hero of Madrid's 1998 Champions League victory over Juventus said he was sure Ronaldo would be a success in Serie A, while saying it would be "interesting" should they meet Los Blancos in the Champions League in the coming years.
"I am not surprised as Juve have won a lot with his arrival. I am sure Cristiano will score a lot of goals in Italy, and he is also a player with the image that Juve and Italian football needed. He might not be there for four years, but for two years it is a very good operation for Juve. For sure if Madrid play against Juve next season in the Champions League, they will be very interesting games."
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan