A host of potential reasons stands out as to what could have caused Ronaldo to be a bit queasy. His relationships with his compatriots at Madrid namely Iker Casillas and Marcelo, personal reasons attributed to his father's death anniversary, lack of appreciation from Madrid supporters or potential wage dispute problems to name a few.
It could be any of these reasons or a combination of all, although Ronaldo himself took to Facebook to dispel notions of being a mercenary. He wrote:
That I am feeling sad and have expressed this sadness has created a huge stir. I am accused of wanting more money, but one day it will be shown that this is not the case. At this point, I just want to guarantee to the Real Madrid fans that my motivation, dedication, commitment and desire to win all competitions will not be affected. I have too much respect for myself and for Real Madrid to ever give less to the club than all I am capable of. Abrazos to all madridistas
However, all football stars are equivocal. None of them state that money is the primary reason. Currently, Ronaldo is the 10th best paid football player in the world, behind the likes of Samuel Eto'o, Zlatan Ibrahimovic etc. Here's the list, as per Marca.com, of the best paid footballers in the world:
1. Samuel Eto'o (Anzhi)
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG)
3. Wayne Rooney (Man Utd)
4. Yaya Toure (Man City)
5. Sergio Aguero (Man City)
6. Didier Drogba (Shanghai)
8. Dario Conca (Guangzhou)
9. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
10. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
The BBC breakdowns some of the reasons for Ronaldo's lack of satisfaction at the Bernabeau. The deterioration of his relationship with Marcelo, perceived unfair treatment of fellow Portuguese Fabio Coentrao, and being on the same wages as supposedly less-important players such as Kaka, who also earns the same £8m annually.
Whatsoever be the reasons, Ronaldo's departure cannot be ruled out.
So now we might be on the verge of one of the most spectacular transfer sagas in modern history. If Ronaldo does wish to part ways, and Real Madrid might acquiesce to his request, clubs all around will seek to procure the services of one of the greatest players to have graced the modern game.
Here are six potential destinations for the Portuguese maestro:
This is the fairly obvious one.
Ronaldo has always held Sir Alex Ferguson in high regard, and the level of veneration that Ronaldo bestows towards Sir Alex parallels a seemingly close relationship.
Sir Alex, having made the acquisition for two world class talents in Shinji Kagawa and Robin van Persie, in all likelihood is making one last dash for domestic and European supremacy. What equips him better than having one of the world’s best players at his disposal?
However, the odds of him coming to United, I think, are marginal.
Ronaldo has a massive buy-out clause, and he will not be sold for cheap—probably at an even higher cost than the one commanded by United when he was shipped off to Madrid.
Will the Red Devils be in a position to afford the Madrid superstar? In my reckoning, the simple answer would be no.
Chelsea and Manchester City
With United out of the equation, I deem it probable that Ronaldo will be signed by one of the several cash-laden clubs to have emerged over the past decade.
Both bankrolled by billionaire owners, and not shy of prying talent away from other top clubs, Chelsea and Manchester City are both potential destinations for Ronaldo.
Both have had domestic successes, with the former having recently won the UEFA Champions League. Both will challenge for trophies, and thus, for an ambitious footballer like Ronaldo, London and Manchester are both plausible destinations.
However, Chelsea, having made a host of high-profile signings, might be wary of signing another one. With Financial Fair Play regulations coming into effect very soon, Roman Abramovich and Co. might not be too keen on this one.
It’s a similar situation with Manchester City. They have a host of elite, world class players within their ranks, and this summer’s “lack” of transfer activity signifies that the FFP must be on the back of the mind of City’s investors.
PSG and Anzhi Makhachkala
These two clubs signify clubs that have not yet coveted major success but are looking to take over Europe by storm.
Both are not shy of flexing their financial muscle, and if indeed issues regarding wages are the major source of dissatisfaction, these two would be able to fulfil the Portuguese’s demand.
The Bavarian giants have been financially solvent for the past two decades. Like most clubs competing in the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich have a sound business model that raises profits rather than cripple them into debt.
With Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery already operating as elite wingers, and the midfield brimming with world class talents, signing someone like Cristiano Ronaldo might be a frivolous investment.
And in most likelihood, Bayern aren’t even considering signing him.
However, in the days of brand building and deeper market penetration, “Project Ronaldo” might be considered somewhat sound.
Shirt sales and sale of other merchandise gear would skyrocket, allowing them to recoup some proportion of the signing fee.
Bayern Munich, despite being a European giant with a level of unparalleled success, is not yet in the same category as household names like Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona. Signing Ronaldo would propel them into that upper echelon, in my opinion.
There are only few footballer players plying their trade that have become as iconic as Ronaldo. Signing him not only boosts Bayern’s image but that of the whole of Bundesliga as well. It would be a small step in taking the already superb Bundesliga to the next level—more viewers, added sponsorship and a haven for top foreign talent.
And of course there is the immediate impact of having signed one of the world’s best players which will allow them to dethrone Borussia Dortmund in the domestic front and also lay their hands on the UEFA Champions League.
Surely, it’s a fantastical destination, but in my opinion not as far-fetched as many would deem.
Follow me on Twitter: @BrenGoetze
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