With Jose Mourinho leaving, the future of Real Madrid's superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo, has become unclear. Add the club's failure to win any hardware and a laundry list of other issues, and Real could very well lose one of the game's best in Ronaldo.
Ronaldo, who is under contract until June 2015, has been rumored to be looking elsewhere, including the possibility of him heading back to Manchester United, according to Jacob Steinberg of The Guardian.
Ronaldo had reported issues with Jose Mourinho and some of his teammates last season, which put the ugly machine that is the sports rumour mill in motion. It's no secret that Ronaldo didn't seem like the amazing player everyone has come to know and love, though he was still producing at a high level on the field.
Now, with new manager Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid need to do everything in their power to keep the Portuguese stud on their side. Even if that means shelling out big bucks, which, according to Mark Ogden of The Telegraph, they wouldn't mind doing. Real should be doing whatever they can to convince Cristiano to sign on the dotted line.
If Real want to get things back on the right track, they need to start with an extension for Ronaldo. He's simply the best, or one of the best. He can finish, pass and dribble better than almost anyone in the game, and he has an uncanny awareness for pace, balance and positioning on the pitch. There's just no one who does it like him.
Real Madrid and Carlo Ancelotti fully expect Cristiano to sign an extension, according to The Guardian, but the rumors regarding a move to Manchester United, his former club, or Paris Saint-Germain, make one wonder if Ancelotti actually has reason to expect Ronaldo to sign or is just, like the rest of the Real Madrid community, hoping he will. For Real Madrid's sake, they better get the deal done.
If they want to get back on top, they have to keep their great players happy and, more importantly, keep them on the team.
While there isn't much the club can do except throw money at him and try to keep him happy, Ancelotti has gotten off to a solid start, praising him at every opportunity, per The Guardian:
Everyone knows that he is a superstar and a great player. The most important thing for the club is that a player of his quality shows the utmost professionalism. That is good, especially for the young players who can see a world-class player working with that attitude. I am not responsible for the renewal of his contract, but it won't be a problem.
Can Real Madrid survive without Ronaldo?
Ancelotti's confidence and ability to pat a guy on the back are just what Ronaldo needs to stay in Real Madrid. Keeping him happy and letting him know he's appreciated are two of the best ways to ensure that the superstar will stay with the squad, which for Ancelotti, means more wins and job security.
Making him one of the highest-paid players ever would help, but confidence and pats on the back are a start.