Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo: Change of course or change of scenery?


Staying or leaving? / Image via socceraspects.com

Staying or leaving? / Image via socceraspects.com

The Portuguese star has been surrounded by much of speculation for a long period of time.

The embarrassing El Clasico result seems to have been the breaking point for Cristiano Ronaldo, who is once again in the centre of attention as rumours about his departure from Santiago Bernabeu continue to swirl.

Change of scenery

Cristiano Ronaldo looks far from happy and motivated under Rafael Benitez.

Unhappy with Florentino Perez’s decision to part ways with Carlo Ancelotti and to appoint Rafa Benitez has reportedly caused much aggravation with Cristiano Ronaldo, who didn’t believe that the Spanish manager was the right man for Los Blancos.

Benitez’s short reign at the club has been opposed from inside the squad with Cristiano Ronaldo leading the pack and the atmosphere has been tense throughout the first part of the season.

Following the heaviest El Clasico defeat since 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly told Florentino Perez to choose between him and Rafa Benitez. Real Madrid president stood by his managerial summer choice, offering full backing to Rafa Benitez who will continue his reign at Santiago Bernabeu.

Brought in 2009 for the record-breaking £80 million which made him the most expensive football player in history, Cristiano Ronaldo is not one of Florentino Perez’s signings. Despite all of his records and achievements in Real Madrid, such a fact holds importance in the world of Spanish football and its politics.

For the past few years the Ballon d’Or winner has been speculated about with his future seen away from Santiago Bernabeu.

With his former club Manchester United always in the frontline, the Portugal striker has reportedly rejected the chance to return to Old Trafford last summer, pledging his allegiance to the Madrid-based club.

However, the latest developments have seen the change of course and the 30-year-old Portugal player is reportedly considering his future at Real Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo is contracted to Real Madrid until 2018, but his time with Los Blancos could be cut short in January, most likely in summer.

Florentino Perez has publicly backed the manager whose plan is to build a new Real Manager, making the Welsh star Gareth Bale centre of attention. Seen as the heir to Ronaldo’s throne, the former Tottenham winger has in numerous occasions pushed Cristiano Ronaldo out of his comfort zone and could ultimately be the key reason in any potential transfers away from the Santiago Bernabeu.

As for Ronaldo himself, as self-confident as he may be the Portuguese is aware he is not getting any younger and could be open to make a final big-money deal in his career.

According to several European reports Ligue 1 title holders Paris Saint Germain are looking to lure Cristiano Ronaldo to Paris by offering him a lucrative deal worth £250,000 a week after tax.

The 30-year-old striker would come as a replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who looks certain to leave Parc des Princes once his contract has expired at the end of the current season.

Ronaldo’s potential arrival to PSG would be a major marketing coup in addition to its football value, and the French giants would have another world-class players in their star-studded squad, ready to make the next step in their ambitious project.

Manchester United would still be eager to fight for their favourite, but will have to match the equivalent contract offer of £500,000 a week given the UK tax laws.

With Cristiano Ronaldo at the crossroads, January transfer is highly unlikely. Much will depend upon the remainder of the season, and upon the Real Madrid’s situation towards the end of campaign.

Change of course

As the football world began to debate about his future, the flamboyant forward has seemingly decided to go down a different road.

A changed man on the pitch against Shakhtar Donetsk, Cristiano Ronaldo was once again a star player as his team ensured top spot in UEFA Champions League group A, with a hard-fought 4-3 win in Ukraine.

Ronaldo opened the scorings with a header and added another one later in the game, on the rebound after his initial attempt was blocked by Shakhtar defender. The 30-year-old also had a hand in other two Real’s goals, and his further contribution of 10 shorts towards the Shakhtar’s goal and four chances created in the game are clear indicators of a sterling performance.

Ronaldo was all smiles in the game, clearly already over the El Clasico defeat.

We needed to recover after the game against Barcelona and this was a good game”, he said after the Ukraine visit.

If there is any good that has come out of the Barcelona trashing then it is definitely the apparent newly-developed bond between the players, who are looking stronger than ever before this season.

Rafa Benitez held a team meeting with senior players prior to the game in Ukraine as he spoke to various stars including James Rodriguez, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and of course Cristiano Ronaldo, who has reportedly promised to work harder and to be of a greater assistance to his teammates on the pitch.

He did what he promised and looked a changed man during the week.

Is he definitely set for a drastic change of course then?


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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