Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Earlier in the summer, Cristiano Ronaldo was the subject of transfer rumours, as pointed out by the Daily Mail, with speculation that he would return to his former team, Manchester United. His departure from Real Madrid always seemed unlikely, however, and many believed those rumours were a negotiating ploy as Ronaldo sought a new contract.
Now, he's reportedly received that contract, according to Miguel Serrano of Marca:
Cristiano Ronaldo has renewed his contract and will be staying at Real Madrid till 2018. This renewal makes Ronaldo the highest-paid player in Spanish football, with a salary of €17 million net for each of the next five seasons, which is one million more than (Lionel) Messi gets.
Until now, Ronaldo owned 60% of his image rights, the other 40% going to Real Madrid. But now he will increase that percentage, although the club is also reserving the right to guarantee itself some kind of economic return on the investment, with the income generated by Cristiano Ronaldo's publicity deals.
Ronaldo has seemingly been gunning for a more lucrative contract for some time now. Per the BBC in September, he said he felt "sad" relating to his "professional" standing with the club, a thinly veiled hint that he wasn't pleased with his contract, though he publicly professed his sadness was "not about the money."
It's hard to imagine he was completely telling the truth then.
Ronaldo not only earns the most money in La Liga with this new contract, but it also aligns him with the top earners in the world, a sign of respect that Ronaldo seemed to crave.
His contribution to Real Madrid goes without saying, as alongside Messi he's one of the two best players in the world. Since joining Real Madrid in 2009, he's scored 207 goals and added 47 assists, though he's won just one La Liga title and has not yet led Los Blancos to Champions League glory.
Real Madrid could be opening up the checkbook again, as the team looks poised to add Gareth Bale to the attack alongside Ronaldo in what could be an £87 million transfer fee.
With Bale on the horizon, it probably helped Real Madrid's cause to retain Ronaldo when new manager Carlo Ancelotti said the star forward could choose his position and role this season (per ESPN), either remaining out wide or leading the line, which he has done several times this preseason.
What Ronaldo wants, Ronaldo apparently gets.