Cristiano Ronaldo gives ultimatum to Real Madrid president
After Real Madrid’s heavy loss to rival Barcelona in Saturday’s El Clasico, Cristiano Ronaldo was booed by the crowd. Reports later suggested that Ronaldo gave Real Madrid’s president Florentino Perez an ultimatum.
According to the Daily Mail, Ronaldo told Madrid president Florentino Perez that was is either him or coach Benitez: “either he goes, or I go”. Also, from earlier reports in the year, we have heard numerous rumors regarding an on going conflict between Ronaldo and coach Benitez. It now seems certain that the two do not get on. Speculation on their problem stems from Benitez team strategy, which is a bit less about Ronaldo and a bit more about focusing on other players such as Gareth Bale.
In other related reports from last season, Bale’s agent complained that his client was being overlooked by his Real Madrid team-mates because they did not pass the ball to him enough. But under new coach Benitez, Bale said he feels more involved than he did with previous coach, Carlo Ancelotti. Further, club president Florentino Perez is reported to be ‘desperate’ for the Welshman to be a huge success at Real after his world record transfer from Tottenham Hotspur two years ago.
Of course any strategy that focuses less on Ronaldo is not going to go down well with the Portuguese forward. He expects nothing short of being the central player for his team and he wants to continue to break goal scoring records. He already possesses more Golden Shoe awards than any other player in history and he obviously doesn’t want to play in a team where he gets less opportunities.
So where to from here. Well Real Madrid may have to choose one of these options.
- Sack the coach
- Revert the team structure back to Ronaldo as the center-piece.
- Sell Cristiano Ronaldo.
- Add new players, particularly a world-class striker to play alongside Ronaldo.
Sacking the coach may be the solution to defuse tensions, but the problem with that is it will take time for the team to readjust to a new coach and structure. That could all but destroy any hope of Real Madrid catching Barcelona this season who are in fine form and lead the league table by six points. Real can ill afford such a disruption at this time.
The second option doesn’t look likely as that would be a return to last season’s strategy and under that structure, Real failed to win significant titles, (they only won the Club World Cup). While not good for the team and Real Madrid fans, it was a good strategy for Ronaldo’s personal stats as it helps him score more goals than any other player in the league and consequently more individual records and accolades came his way, but at the expense of team titles. Of course Real Madrid is not here to make Ronaldo the most prolific goal scorer in the league, they are only interested in being the best team.
The third option to sell Ronaldo could happen, but it seems sacrilege to sell the most prolific goal scorer in Real Madrid’s history. Also his contract doesn’t run out till 2018, so its not like he will be a free agent anytime soon. That said, there are a number of clubs that would love to sign the Real forward for big money including Manchester United, City, PSG, and Chelsea. Many of these teams would have no problem making Ronaldo their main player and keep him happy with scoring many goals. Ronaldo has also said he would like to return to Manchester United one day where he has many fond memories, but he would probably be happy to play for a number of clubs in the English Premier League. PSG is also a great team for him as they would provide him with a ripe goal scoring environment. Paris is so much stronger than other teams in France and that would help guarantee many scoring opportunities. We must also remember that Ronaldo is the wrong side of 30, so his ability to be sold for big money wanes as each year passes. From a monetary point of view, the earlier the better, so it may be possible that Real Madrid decides that now is the time to let him go, especially if he wants to move and doesn’t want to be as much of a team player as the coach expects.
The fourth option to buy new players is an option anyway as the club is always on the hunt for promising talent and world-class players. In the next transfer window they could make a bid for a prolific striker like Robert Lewandowski for example and do the best with the team they have now in the meantime. And while Ronaldo may be a prolific striker, Barcelona have Messi, Suarez, and Neymar. Placing another Ronaldo type player up front would boost their attack. However it may be Ronaldo’s personality that stops this option from happening if he is bent on scoring most of the goals. Buying new players could also include selling Gareth Bale as he has failed to live up to most people’s expectations and a number of big Premier League clubs would still shell out big money for the Welshman. Manchester United have been wanting either Ronaldo or Bale for quite some time and Bale has been consistently linked to a move back to Premier League.
Whatever option Real Madrid decides to take, it seems obvious that they just can’t continue down their current path, so something needs to happen. Losing 4-0 to Barcelona in a game that was largely played without Messi, is a situation that requires strong action. Real Madrid management are faced now with some tough choices and coupled with Ronaldo’s reported dissatisfaction at the club and you have a situation that needs immediate attention. We will see soon enough how Real Madrid respond to their current crisis, but for Real Madrid’s sake, hopefully they can hold onto Ronaldo and also buy some world class talent in order to compete at the same level as FC Barcelona.