Cristiano Ronaldo has marked his status for Real Madrid as a top-two world player and one of the all-time greats, and it would be a shame for both him and the club if they parted ways after a disappointing 2012-13 season.
Despite how impossible this seems, the unthinkable continues to be talked about, as rumours swirl of a Manchester United return (via Goal.com) and following former Madrid manager Jose Mourinho to Chelsea (via Mirror Sport), among others.
Fortunately for Madrid faithful, their ownership doesn't seem too fond of parting with the Portuguese sensation, according to Telegraph Sport. In fact, president Florentino Perez has a big payday in mind:
"I would like Cristiano Ronaldo to be the best-paid player in the world. We’re going to do everything at our hand to make him happy."
Those worried that Real Madrid would lose their best player in the summer transfer window should be able to relax a bit, especially with Perez telling Sporting News that he wouldn't sell the attacker for €1 billion.
Rightfully so, this sparked a comparison to a certain character from the Austin Powers movie series, as Telegraph Sport noted on Twitter:
Madrid are undoubtedly in the process of making the right move to ensure as many titles as possible over the next stretch of years. They may be littered with talent, but the pieces don't fit together nearly as well without Ronaldo leading the way and finding the back of the net.
Los Blancos' offense runs through Ronaldo, who is trusted with the brunt of manufacturing offensive creativity and finding space for his teammates. Losing him would bring down the ability of every player on the roster.
Ronaldo has scored an astonishing 201 goals in his 199 appearances with Madrid, even surpassing the incredible numbers he put up in his six years with Manchester United before breaking records in the transfer window with his move to Spain.
It's not often that a player comes around who can influence a match like Ronaldo can. His ability on the pitch is almost beyond comparison, with a unique control over the football in tight spots.
Also, don't forget about the fact that he's arguably the game's most accurate finisher, whether it's outside the box or up in the air.
For Ronaldo, he needs to look around the landscape of world football and realize that he's already in the best position possible to succeed.
Real Madrid can offer a great possibility of winning trophies every year. He's a big part of one of the world's most talented rosters, with four years of experience under his belt there.
It could be argued that joining forces with Manchester United would bode well for Ronaldo, but Sir Alex Ferguson's departure means United will be facing some tough times ahead of them. David Moyes is unproven and is standing underneath the immense shadow of Fergie's legacy.
Ferguson and Ronaldo's relationship goes back to his early career, and it's hard to believe the star would return on the heels of Ferguson's retirement.
Plus, it's not hard to see that he couldn't have the same individual impact in Old Trafford. Led by Robin van Persie, the Red Devils are enjoying plenty of scoring success, and it'd be nothing short of a miracle for Ronaldo to have his one-goal-per-game effect on that roster.
Paris Saint-Germain has also entered the mix, per James Dickenson of the Daily Express, but France's gaudy 75 percent tax on millionaires and no guarantee of top league competition makes it almost impossible for Ronaldo to find a reason for the move. It's not that Ronaldo would make this decision based on money, but PSG don't offer the same level of competition in France as in La Liga.
At 28 years of age, Ronaldo is looking to rack up trophies and achievements to help prove he's the world's best player. Right now, there's no better place for him to do so than with Real Madrid.
Unless Barcelona insanely throw Lionel Messi into a deal, there's no justifiable reason for both Ronaldo and Madrid that he would play elsewhere in 2013-14 and beyond.
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