Will Cristiano Ronaldo leave Real Madrid?
Cristiano Ronaldo scores two goals as Real Madrid crush Grenada three goals to nothing. Normal you might say but that was the beginning of the turbulence in Spanish Football this weekend. Why?
He refused to celebrate the goals as we are used to seeing and at the press conference after the game he said, “Ask Madrid. They know why I am unhappy.”
This is a stunner for Madrid, just a few days after he led Madrid to its first trophy of the year, beating rivals Barcelona to the Spanish Super Cup. It also came just days after losing out to Andrés Iniesta in the race to be crowned European Player of the Year.
When the world’s most expensive player and soccer’s most commercial product makes a comment like this, the soccer world trembles. Is he hinting at a possible exit? If yes, why?
All through the build up and countdown to the election of last week’s European Player of the year Award, it was common knowledge that most Real Madrid Spanish players aired their support for Iker Casillas and not Ronaldo, as the deserved European Player of the Year.
It is no secret that at the beginning of last season Jose Mourinho had internal problems due to the fact that he had wanted the captain band taken away from Casillas in favour of Ronaldo and that did not go well with the Spanish clan in the dressing room. Could it be that Ronaldo is unhappy at the lack of support from colleagues at this stage in his career?
Did the loss of the European Player of the Year Award open his eyes to certain realities he had ignored before now?
In a summer interview he had re-iterated his pleasure at playing in Madrid and had hinted at his intention to want to spend the rest of his playing career there, but that seems to have changed now. Probably he feels he deserves more support from the club as Lionel Messi gets at Barcelona.
For some time now Ronaldo has been negotiating a contract renewal with the club and, while Jose Mourinho and several other players have had their contracts renewed with better wages, Ronaldo’s contract is yet to be renewed.
You may ask why? Does he still not have three more years to go on his contract? Well the reason is that, before now, people like Ronaldo were taxed only 23 per cent on their wages and, with the new Spanish law, it rises to 52 per cent. That means should they not renegotiate his contract he will be earning a lot less.
This is unacceptable for a player whose jersey sales and off-the-pitch earnings bring millions of Euros into the real Madrid coffers.
On the wages issue, the club is stalling because of this: renewing his wages under the new law would require the club to have to pay up to €30 million each year, while they are paying about €15 million now for a player who is still under contract till 2015. They seem unwilling to do so.
Does Ronaldo really want to leave or is he just trying to publicly push club president Florentino Perez to renew early?
Personally I do feel that Ronaldo has a right to be unhappy. This Real Madrid, without Ronaldo, does not stand any chance at all of winning any trophy as long as Barcelona is there at this form. Take him away from this team and this team becomes good but not spectacular (I am tempted to say ordinary).
With all due respect to Iker Casillas and the others, the earnings off the pitch they bring to this club are a joke when compared to Ronaldo’s. Therefore, having settled their contractual demands before that of the ‘Golden Goose’ is an insult to this world star.
Real Madrid’s game plan, I feel, does not support Ronaldo enough and is not oriented to further enhance and glorify their star player, like the Barcelona game plan does everything to make Messi even more glorious than he is.
The body language of some Ronaldo teammates says it all. Watch the team celebration when Lionel Messi scores for Barcelona and compare it to Ronaldo’s at Madrid.
Of course Barcelona is a much more family-like team, created from scratch at the academy, while Madrid has always been a star assembled team. Having said that, For Ronaldo to be happy he has to be made to feel like the centre of all attention and it is in that environment that he delivers. His past confirms this and, when you have one of the most gifted players ever to play soccer in your team, you do what it takes to make him happy otherwise someone else will.
I believe Clubs like Manchester City and Paris St Germaine will be following this Ronaldo development keenly as we are and need I say Barcelona too?
I still believe he is unlikely to leave Real Madrid any time soon, most especially since we are now in September and the transfer market does not open before January 2013.
He is the only player Real Madrid cannot replace. They must make he plays at his best, otherwise they can kiss their title hunting goodbye.