Juventus Soars 17% as Champions League Shines Highlight on Soccer Shares

Investing.com – Shares of Juventus skyrocketed nearly 17% on Wednesday after a stunning comeback against Atlético de Madrid sent the Italian team on its way to the quarter-finals.

The shares’ rally is particularly sharp because hopes of a victory for Juventus had been low before the game: the Turin team has lost the first leg of its tie against Atlético 2-0, leaving it with a mountain to climb. The shares had fallen 11% after that setback.

But the decision last summer to invest in Cristiano Ronaldo – reportedly paying an annual salary of over $34 million for the player’s four-year contract – bore its fruits on Tuesday. The Portuguese superstar managed a “hat-trick”, scoring his third goal with a penalty near the end of the match, sending fans wild and sealing Juve’s move into the quarter-finals.

“Maybe that’s why Juve signed me, to help them. It was a magical evening,” Ronaldo proclaimed after the game.

Come Wednesday morning, it was investors’ turn to celebrate. By 08:10 AM ET (12:10 GMT), after spiking as much as 22%, the shares of Juventus Football Club JUVE) were still up 16.8% at €1.4290. The shares may get another leg up if Juve gets a team seen as an outsider when the draw for the quarter-finals is made on Friday.

The jump in the stock price is based on more than the euphoria of owning a part of a winning team. Champions League quarter finalists receive an extra €10.5 million ($11.9 million) in prize money, while another €31 million ($35 million) is at stake if the team continues to win.

But the share rally has bumped up the club’s value by a cool €200 million, far more than it would get in prize money even if its wins the tournament.

That’s because success in the Champions League, Europe’s most prestigious football tournament, places the team on a high pedestal with sponsors.

The same effects have been playing out across Europe’s stock markets as the Champions League’s round of 16 has unfolded over the last two weeks. Shares in AFC Ajax (AS:AJAX) of Amsterdam soared nearly 8% after its stunning 4-1 victory against Real Madrid, champions in four of the last five seasons. Manchester United’s (NYSE:MANU) stock gained a more modest 2% after knocking out Paris Saint Germain. And Germany’s Borussia Dortmund (DE:BVB) fell over 10% as it crashed out against Tottenham Hotspur.

Expect a similarly spectacular reaction from shares in Olympique Lyonnais Groupe (PA:OLG) if it can somehow engineer a victory against tournament favorite Barcelona tonight.

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