International Sports

Juventus shares temporarily halted after Cristiano Ronaldo's team crash out of Europe's top soccer competition

Reuters with CNBC
Key Points
  • Juventus share slide prompts a temporary suspension, trading 25 percent lower at one stage.
  • Italian side suffer surprise defeat to Ajax at quarter-final stage of UEFA’S Champions League tournament.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo was bought for 100 million euros ($113 million) last summer in the hope he could help Juventus to a first Champions League success since 1996.
Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus evades challenge from Frenkie de Jong of Ajax during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between Juventus and Ajax at Allianz Stadium on April 16, 2019 in Turin, Italy.
Chris Ricco | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

Shares in Italian soccer team Juventus plunged as much as a quarter in value on Wednesday after it was knocked out of Europe's Champions League competition by Ajax Amsterdam.

The Turin-based club lost 2-1 at home in its second quarter-final tie against the Dutch club on Tuesday night, resulting in a 3-2 aggregate defeat.

At 8:30 am in Milan, Juventus shares were down 17.3 percent at 1.3960 euros, after trading as low as 1.275 euros, which prompted a temporary suspension.

By contrast, Ajax shares jumped 8.5 percent to an all-time high of 18.60 euros, as the four-time former champion reached the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time 1997, where it will play either Manchester City or Tottenham Hotspur.

For making the last four this season Ajax receives an additional $13.5 million in prize-money, with an additional $21.4 million on offer to make the final and win it.

Ronaldo gamble

Much of the focus after the loss was on Juve's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo who had won the last three the Champions League tournaments his former club, Real Madrid.

Juventus specifically bought the forward from the Spanish giants last summer for a transfer fee of 100 million euros ($113 million), in the hope he could once again win Europe's top soccer competition.

Keeping up his end of the bargain, Ronaldo scored both goals for Juventus over the two legs, but it wasn't enough to progress.

Juventus new signing Cristiano Ronaldo poses for the media during the press conference on July 16, 2018 in Turin, Italy.
Valerio Pennicino - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

After the game, Juventus Head Coach Massimiliano Allegri defended the performance of the team saying it was "absolutely not" over-dependent on Ronaldo. "He has given us a lot over the course of the campaign, but when you reach the quarter-final, you need every player," he said.

The Italian club, which has already been knocked out of the domestic cup competition this season, missed the chance to clinch an eighth consecutive Serie A title on Saturday after a surprise 2-1 defeat at SPAL. However, it still has a considerable seventeen-point lead and is expected to get over the line during the remaining six games of the season.

Juventus has won the Italian league title seven times in a row, but has never managed to win the "treble" of the domestic league, Italy's cup competition and the Champions League.

Inter Milan is the only Italian club to have achieved such a feat, under coach José Mourinho in the 2009-2010 season.