Ronaldo talk overshadows Real
Published: 10.09.12 / Written by: David Gold
Unusual is just one way to describe Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision not to celebrate two goals against Granada last weekend.
Ordinarily, you would expect even an unhappy player to at least let a smile cross his face. A lack of celebration is only usually a sign of respect to a former employer.
“I’m sad - when I don’t celebrate goals it’s because I’m not happy.” Ronaldo said. “It’s a professional thing. Real Madrid know why I’m not happy.”
Ronaldo’s words in the aftermath of the victory at the weekend were revealing. On one hand he was saying that he would rather not talk about why he was unhappy, yet he was quite willing to make the fact that he was unsettled known.
Still mystery surrounds the situation. Speculation over whether it is a problem with his team mates or with the club’s hierarchy over his contract are rife. And the player has rejected the idea that it was anything to do with Andres Iniesta winning the European player of the year award last week. Although as Iniesta’s victory was revealed the look on Ronaldo’s face told a story of its own.
Yet he insisted his unhappiness was nothing to do with that. You have to believe the man. So what could have prompted him to now feel the way he does at Madrid? Could it be the manager, Jose Mourinho, Ronaldo’s countryman? That is a theory which has not been put forward but could have some truth in it. Mourinho, like Ronaldo, has a fairly high opinion of himself to put it mildly. Having two men in the same club has worked very well so far, but does it have its limits? Mourinho had problems at Chelsea famously with Roman Abramovich.
Now with Ronaldo, it could be that the jostling between the two for the limelight is having an impact behind the scenes. It is merely speculation, a vague hypothesis, but in the absence of any real information or detail it seems a reasonable one. Ronaldo’s team mates have been quick to support him; the board and manager not so much.
That indicates that this is an issue which goes higher up at the club. AS editor Alfredo Relano believes it is to do with money, as Ronaldo has previously spoken of getting a new contract for life. Yet consider the statistics. Ronaldo apparently paid for himself; or rather fans across the world did, as shirt sales within a year of his arrival from Manchester United wiped out the £80 million hole his signature to join Les Merengues left.
It may well be that, fully aware of his worth, Ronaldo is pushing and playing hardball with the club over a new deal. The Portuguese was integral last year, his shooting from all angles and distances and virtuoso brilliance guiding Madrid to the title for the first time in four years. A bruised ego but a player of such worth is a dangerous combination, as Madrid are now finding out.