Reports that Cristiano Ronaldo has fallen out with Real Madrid teammate Sergio Ramos serve to highlight the Portuguese star’s apparent unhappiness in Spain.
The forward’s season got off to a bad start when he received a five-match suspension for shoving the referee in the Spanish Super Cup and he’s struggled since returning, finding the net just once for Los Blancos in the league.
It’s a far cry from the situation in June, when Ronaldo fired Real Madrid to their 12th European Cup with a brace in the 4-1 victory over Juventus.
The 32-year-old was on top of the world then - he also collected a La Liga winner’s medal at the end of last season - and the accolades are likely to continue, with Ronaldo the favourite to add a fifth Ballon d’Or award next month.
Yet Spanish football expert Guillem Balague believes the situation is far from pleasant right now.
What Perez has told Ronaldo
Writing in his weekly Q&A with Sky Sports, Balague claimed it’s “absolutely true” that Ronaldo wants to leave the Bernabeu.
But in talks with Real president Florentino Perez, Ronaldo, whose contract runs until 2021, was reminded that the only way he can leave is if a club meets his buyout clause.
And that sits at €1 billion.
“It’s absolutely true that Ronaldo wants to leave Real Madrid,” Balague wrote.
“It’s also true that he’s been told he cannot leave by Florentino Perez, who reminded him that his buy-out clause is set a €1billion.
“That’s appears to be that, then.”
Ronaldo 'doesn't have many close friends'
Asked whether Ronaldo’s reported rift with Ramos has been exaggerated, Balague wrote: “Their relationship has had its ups and downs, at the start they didn’t trust each other.
“When Carlo Ancelotti was in charge I know that some of the Spanish players complained about Ronaldo, before realising he is such an important player that they had to accept him as he is.
“But Ronaldo doesn’t have friends among the Spanish contingent, in fact he doesn’t have many close friends since James Rodriguez, his last close friend, left.”
And with that, Manchester United fans suddenly got interested.
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