There have been a few rumours circulating recently that this season could be the last for Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid. Talk was that he’d now fulfilled his ‘lifelong dream’ after moving to the Spanish champions in 2009. Been there, done that – and all that. With the not inconsiderable shadow of the Messi appearing to constantly overshadow his performances in Spain, talk was that Ronaldo wanted to get out from under, and build a new profile elsewhere. Perhaps then he could win his own Ballon d‘Or, rather than see his glum reflection in Messi’s collection of them.
The long-time link for the Portuguese was with mega-bucks French club PSG. It always seemed perhaps a strange one. Although with the resurgence of the petro-dollar funded PSG, it’s no longer valid to say that all of France’s best players are playing for non-French teams, the league there remains somewhat behind those in England, Spain, Italy and Germany. If Ronaldo fancied a bit of ‘flat track bullying’ to steal a cricket metaphor, then yep, Ligue 1 would fit. Would anyone take such exploits seriously though? The brass of course would be good, but again, you can’t really think that Ronaldo’s going to be short of a few euros, wherever he plays. I really couldn't see this having legs.
There’s always the apparently emotional link with Manchester United of course, and there was talk when the two sides met in the Champions League a few weeks back. The two goals netted by Ronaldo only fueled the longing of United’s fans, but the talk was quickly dismissed by both clubs. The ‘Mourinho to Chelsea’ bandwagon also caused a ripple of rumours that should the “Special One’ return to west London, he’d like to take Ronaldo with him. I’ll bet he would! Building a rumour on top of a rumour is a shaky foundation however.
All these possibilities now seem likely to be kicked into the long grass however as talk filtering out of Madrid is that negotiations for a new contract to stay at Real are well advanced, and that the potential defection of Mourinho will have little effect on Ronaldo’s decision to stay put. It never really struck me that Ronaldo was ‘a quitter.’ He’ll still think he has the talent to outshine Messi, and he may have. For fans in Spain, it looks like they’re going to see him try.