According to Sport, “Ronaldo is jealous of Real Madrid's Neymar desire” and has also been unimpressed with previous attempts from Los Blancos to lure Messi away from the Camp Nou. As noted in the piece, the two Blaugrana stars have been cited as fanciful targets for Real Madrid President Florentino Perez.
The piece outlined why Ronaldo, who Sport says “wants to be at the centre of everything,” is unhappy, touching on various other contributors to the Portuguese’s reported frustration:
You can add to Cristiano’s frustration a detail which occurred inside Madrid regarding transfer fees, which has made him conscious of the fact that for Florentino “Bale is worth more”. However, Perez filtered out a story that said Ronaldo cost more than the Welshman to calm his anger.
The president continues to flatter the Portuguese player, recently assuring that he is “the best player in the world” so as not to devalue him. At the same time, he is irritated with the No.7’s continued insinuations with regards to his future.
According to a report from Cadena COPE (h/t the Press Association, via the Guardian), Los Blancos have made three separate attempts to sign Messi since 2011 but were unsuccessful on every occasion.
There have also been previous reports suggesting Real would be willing to part with €35 million per year to tempt Neymar to the capital as an eventual long-term replacement for Ronaldo, per Lluis Mascaro of Sport.
Here’s how Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo all compare statistically in La Liga matches this season:
|Forward Comparison: Ronaldo, Neymar, Messi|
|Apps (Sub)||21||17||13 (2)|
|Shots per game||6.4||4.2||5.1|
|Key passes per game||1.5||3.9||1.9|
|Dirbbles per game||1||4.8||4.5|
Although many would say Ronaldo is enduring a disappointing campaign, his statistics certainly look healthy. Indeed, a return of 27 goals before February is mightily impressive, and although he’ll turn 31 in February, there is no other player in world football who is as sharp in the penalty area as the former Manchester United man.
If there is veracity to these reports, it’s peculiar that Ronaldo would be feeling “jealous.” After all, this Real team is still built around him, and in the unlikely event of Madrid convincing one of these Barcelona stars of joining, it’d only serve to enrich his own game.
But it seems as though it's not something he'll ever have to worry about. Messi is Barcelona to the bone, while Spanish football journalist Rafael Hernandez has conceded he’d be very surprised to see Neymar make the move to the capital:
Real make a major fuss of Ronaldo as it is, with regular ceremonies promoting his achievements. The club clearly value the work he does, he’s an immovable figure in the side, and regardless of which manager has been at the club since he joined in 2009, the team has been built to get the best from the forward's array of attributes.
Although any enquiries into Barca stars are always likely to end in disappointment for Real associates, it’s no surprise to hear one of the world’s biggest clubs is keen on the world’s best players.