The mystery surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid future continues after his latest comments, but football fans still believe he is going to leave the Santiago Bernabeu.
After refusing to celebrate after either of his two goals in the win over Granada on Sunday – Real’s first La Liga win of the season – the Portuguese superstar claimed he was “sad” over “a professional thing” and instantly sparked a wave of speculation about his future.
Myriad responses were made in response to the news; some reacted in bafflement at how a player, one of the best in the world at that, who has tasted so much success recently could possibly be sad.
A number of Spanish football commentators claimed Ronaldo wanted his status on the pitch to be reflected in his pay packet, with him reportedly looking for a new contract that would take his salary level with the game’s highest paid players – which he is reportedly off matching by a couple of million a year.
Then there were those who genuinely thought he was unhappy because he felt he was not getting the recognition his talent deserved, with some claiming his relationship with full-back Marcelo – reportedly one of his closest friends at Real – had broken down after the Brazilian claimed their team-mate Iker Casillas deserved to win the Ballon d’Or at the end of the year.
Ronaldo made moves to clarify his position last night in response to the varying theories that had been put forward, as well as adding further intrigue to the story.
“That I am feeling sad and have expressed this sadness has created a huge stir,” he said via his Twitter account.
“I am accused of wanting more money, but one day it will be shown that this is not the case.”
So, we are now informed that money is not an issue for ‘CR7’, which makes it even more intriguing as to what is making him so sad.
Whatever his reasons, the majority of football fans believe Ronaldo’s Real days are numbered and that he will soon be leaving the club.
GMF polled just under 30000 people and 60 per cent of those indicated they expected the Portugal captain to depart Madrid after his recent admissions.
If money is not the problem, then Ronaldo’s relationship with his fellow team-mates is the most logical solution, especially as he and Real manager Jose Mourinho do not appear to have any problem with one another.
Whether a falling out with the squad is the actual issue, most of them seem to realise correcting this mistake is essential – no amount of feuding will blind them to the fact of how much this team needs him.
Remember, this is the man who has scored 150 goals in only 149 games for the club, the fastest Real Madrid player to reach 100 goals and the first player to ever score against every other team in a La Liga season.
Former Liverpool full-back and current team-mate Alvaro Arbeloa expressed surprise at the words, but vowed he and his colleagues would do all hey could to help cheer Ronaldo up.
“I don't know what's up with Cristiano. It was a surprise for us as much as for you. We found out after the game,” the fullback told reporters as he joined up with the Spain squad.
“At Madrid, we are a family and we will support him in any way he needs, just as we would do with Mesut Ozil, Michael Essien or whoever.”
Arbeloa also dismissed the suggestions of money or a new contract being what has caused the situation, and pledged to help the forward feel more loved by the squad.
“I have never heard him talk about money, a longer deal, or wanting to go. I think he'll be here for many years,” he added.
“There has been too much made of his words. Maybe he needs more affection from everyone, I don't know, but if that is it, he will receive it from us.”
Though the reasons for his displeasure remain clouded with doubt, a strong majority of fans are convinced the £80million man is set to move on to pastures new.