8 Clubs Rich Enough to Afford Cristiano Ronaldo

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2012

8 Clubs Rich Enough to Afford Cristiano Ronaldo

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    €200 million: that is the quoted price for which it is said Real Madrid will sell their Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Would they really sell? It seems unlikely that they would need to. Ronaldo is arguably top-dog, and should he leave La Liga, there would always be the lingering doubt surrounding his career; he would have walked away from direct comparisons and competitions with Leo Messi while the Barcelona star is ahead of him.

    Ronaldo is talented enough that he would walk into any side in the world, but that doesn't mean he could join any of them.

    At his price tag, only a very small handful of clubs worldwide would even dream of making a bid—and even fewer would realistically be able to attract him to their league and their team.

    Here are eight teams who could afford the massive, world-record-shattering price tag for the attacker.

Barcelona

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    Might as well get this one out of the way first.

    Would it ever happen? It's hugely unlikely.

    Could Barcelona afford Ronaldo? Absolutely.

    Merchandise sales alone would cover the cost of bringing in the Real player, with the Catalan club boasting a massive fanbase who would lap up the chance of taunting their rivals with the capture of their star name.

    Ronaldo supporting Messi's goal tally? Doesn't seem likely...

Anzhi Makhachkala

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    One of the big spenders of Eastern Europe, Anzhi Makhachkala have spent millions on wages and transfer fees to bring some huge names to Moscow, where the club train—before flying several hours to their home matches in Dagistan.

    That Anzhi can attract big players, big names and spend big money is already proven.

    This season they will be aiming to improve on last campaign's 5th place finish and win themselves a Champions League spot—without it, they'll have no chance of attracting Ronaldo.

    Even with it, you don't really see him moving to Russia at this stage in his career.

Zenit St Petersburg

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    Still in Russia, so the same conditions apply.

    Zenit St Petersburg have the added draw of Champions League football and the weight of recent titles behind them, so they might be more appealing than Anzhi at present, but still not a serious contender surely?

    Then again, they have just splashed out over £60 million on Hulk and Axel Witsel...

Manchester City

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    If there's one team that you could equally see Cristiano Ronaldo never joining, and yet joining in a heartbeat, it would probably be Manchester City.

    The biggest rivals of Ronaldo's old team, Manchester United, City are a new mega-force both domestically and, as they should prove this coming season, in Europe.

    They may have reigned in their dramatic spending slightly this summer, but make no mistake about it—if Ronaldo was to come onto the market, the purse-strings would be loosened faster than Roberto Mancini's fingers move through his hair after a particularly irritating refereeing decision.

Chelsea

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    Sticking in England, Chelsea have splashed out big time this summer bringing in Eden Hazard, Marko Marin, Oscar and Cesar Azpilicueta, amongst others.

    While they already seem somewhat overcrowded in the attackers department, you suspect Roman Abramovich might not be able to resist the lure of having a shiny new toy adorned with Cristiano Ronaldo on the back of its shirt.

    Does Ronaldo-Hazard-Mata behind Torres do it for anyone?

Shanghai Shenua

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    Shanghai Shenua have been labelled the Manchester City of China, with their millions being spent on bringing ageing superstars to the Chinese league in an effort to raise the standard and the profile of the game in the hugely populated country.

    Already since his summer move though, Drogba has suffered speculation that he could be on his way straight out again.

    A row between shareholders seems to be at the centre of the problem, but there is no doubt that between Shanghai and Guangzhou Evergrande, there is plenty of money rolling around in China at the moment.

Paris St Germain

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    Another of the summer's big spenders, PSG are determined to get themselves back to the top of French and European football, and will throw money around to achieve their aims.

    Jeremy Menez, Momo Sissoko and Salvatore Sirigu all arrived last year while Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Thiago Silva followed just weeks ago.

    The French Ligue 1 title is the immediate target, but they do offer Champions League football and are not afraid of paying high wages, clearly.

    Cristiano Ronaldo might also appreciate the chance to work with another highly respected coach in Carlo Ancelotti.

Manchester United

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    On a sporting level, would he take him back?

    Of course he would! Alex Ferguson sold Cristiano Ronaldo for a huge fee, but paying double the amount to bring him "home" might give the Scot pause for thought.

    United have not always fully exploited their usual strength in wing-play since Ronaldo's departure; yes at times Ashley Young, Nani or Antonio Valencia have been superb, but none have had the consistent, unending match-winning ability that the Real Madrid man showed week in, week out.

    But you still, somehow, just can't see it happening.