Say what you want about Cristiano Ronaldo as a person but as a footballer he has grown from the boy that took Bolton to the sword on his Manchester United debut into one of the greatest to ever play the game, whether you like it or not that is a fact.
Real Madrid have an exceptional commodity on their hands but with that sort of commodity comes an inevitable volatility. Like dynamite it doesn’t take much of a spark to set Ronaldo off and the Spanish football landscape has been dominated by his declination to celebrate his brace against Granada and admissions of professional sadness at Real, if you’ll excuse the paraphrasing.
Whilst Ronaldo himself has been quick to declare the situation has not arisen due to financial reasons one has to wonder what truth lies in such a statement. It is an interesting strategy to announce your unhappiness just days after the closing of the transfer window which lends weight to the argument that Ronaldo is simply pushing for a new and improved contract.
Now it seems almost absurd to me and you, the everyday human being living in the real world to suggest that the plush €10 million euros he earns a year is not a fair cut. But when you take a look at the world’s best paid players as put together by Spanish paper Marca you can begin to understand this argument.
Samuel Eto’o, Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres are all above him on the list. Even barely known Dario Conca playing for Guangzhou in China who has never represented his native Argentina at the age of 29 earns more a year then CR7. Perhaps the only player above him in the pay stakes who deserves such a mantle is Lionel Messi in 9th place.
Currently he is on the same salary as Kaka, who barely features in Jose Mourinho’s Madrid plans and Ronaldo may be right, as possibly the best in his profession, to want a higher salary. Call it greed if you must but Ronaldo will see such an issue as one of pride and respect.
See when Ronaldo claims the reasons for his sadness are not financial he doesn’t mean it like me or you would think. The money in the equation is just a side effect of the endemic spending culture of football. This is simply a matter of Ronaldo being recognised for his, admittedly, very impressive performances with a mirroring contract.
Real Madrid are reportedly a little shy of cash at the moment and after failing to shift Kaka from their monumental wage bill this summer they would struggle to bankroll a significant hike in the Portuguese forwards wages.
When he signed for Real he did so as it was his dream to play for the club, a dream he has now fulfilled and now he sees himself as the world’s tenth best paid player and begins to wonder if that’s fair?
Real Madrid may have to stump up or risk losing their greatest asset.
image: © JanS0L0