If Cristiano Ronaldo gets his way, this season will be his last as a Real Madrid player.
The Portuguese superstar is determined to the leave the Spanish soccer club, and he is demanding a transfer to another club next summer.
But Real Madrid president Florentino Perez will do all he can to convince Ronaldo to change his mind, Marca reports.
“His top player genuinely wants to leave the club, because he feels neither loved, nor supported in those individual prizes which obsess him so much. And so the president has decided to roll up his sleeves and start manning the pumps to come up with a solution,” the report says.
“Florentino, his sights on the elections at the end of the season, has decided to make a fuss of his star, and will accompany him to the Ballon d’Or gala in Zurich on January 7th, 2013.”
Ronaldo’s uncomfortable situation was thrust into the headlines in September when he told a news conference that he was feeling “sad” about a “professional” situation at the club. He did not elaborate, but the rumor mill spun out of control for weeks. His agent, Jorge Mendes, added that he knew what was troubling the star forward, but he did not reveal any details either.
In late October, there were rumors that Mendes was engineering a deal that would take Ronaldo and Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in exchange for well over 100 million euros ($130 million). It would confirm PSG’s arrival as a European soccer powerhouse and weaken Real Madrid.
Losing Ronaldo and/or Mourinho would be a serious blow to Perez, who stands for re-election at the end of the season. If he allows Ronaldo to leave and does not replace him with someone of Lionel Messi‘s class, as he told the pouting superstar in September, he will almost be voted out.
Real Madrid’s season has sputtered (compared to the lofty standards set in 2011-12), as the defending La Liga champion is in third place after 15 games. It trails FC Barcelona by 11 points and high-flying local rival Atletico Madrid by five. The saving grace could come in the UEFA Champions League. Real Madrid has progressed to the knockout stages and will learn its round-of-16 opponent on Dec. 20.
Winning a 10th European Cup is an obsession at Real Madrid. It last claimed the prestigious trophy in 2002. Winning in 2013 could keep Perez in office, it seems Ronaldo will leave the Spanish capital regardless of the outcome.
Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.