At this moment, why would Cristiano Ronaldo even consider a club other than Real Madrid? With the Ballon d’Or-winner in peak form and riding arguably the most dominant stretch of his career, Real Madrid are enjoying rousing success across the globe. The reigning Champions League holders also maintain first place in La Liga, and have blown away opponents with 42 goals, 18 of which belong to Ronaldo.
After reports surfaced that former club Manchester United desired his return to Old Trafford, Ronaldo cast aside any talk of a transfer and said he hoped to extend his contract beyond 2018.
"I'm very happy, enjoying life and in great form. I try to give my best out on the pitch and achieve everything possible for the club because the thing I like the most is winning,” he said earlier this month. "I hope to stay at Real Madrid until the end of my contract when I'm 33 and we'll see if the president wants to extend it for a few more years."
Any club hoping to lure the 29-year-old Portuguese superstar away from the Bernabeu will have to promise not only riches, but equal or greater glory on the field. Really only a handful of clubs can fulfill those requirements, and rival Barcelona leads that exclusive pack.
And according to Daily Star, the Catalans could eventually line up a shock move. A report out of Spain indicated that former Barcelona president Joan Laporta was recently spotted meeting with Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes. Laporta served as president for seven years, and was removed in 2010. Landing Ronaldo is seen as his way to regain the top management position.
However unlikely it may seem, Barcelona are really the only club that can offer Ronaldo everything he receives at Madrid. Other than wages, the Catalans are regularly in contention for Champions League and the La Liga crowns, promise global exposure like no other club and can keep Ronaldo in Spain. Not to mention pairing him with Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, forming undeniably the most dominant attacking force in the world.
And while Ronaldo has certainly towed the line recently with Madrid’s management, it wasn’t too long ago that he was questioning their decisions. Following the departure of midfielder and friend Angel Di Maria to United, Ronaldo was tactful but openly stated that he did not understand the move and that he would not have let Di Maria go. Di Maria’s exit came on the heels of Xabi Alonso’s move to Bayern Munich, and allowed Madrid to purchase James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos, two players who have assimilated quite well.
Nevertheless, Ronaldo made it clear that he was unhappy about the moves and Madrid officials were likely wary of his attitude shifting before the new season began.
For now any such move will have to wait. For one, the Catalans are still under FIFA suspension for violating transfer rules and can’t complete a transaction until January 2016 at the earliest. Furthermore, they’ll have to set a new world record to pry Ronaldo away from Madrid, and his market value is already hovering around £95 million.
Team chemistry is also an issue Barcelona must consider. At this juncture, it’s unclear if Messi, Neymar or Suarez even want to share the stage with Ronaldo.
Right now, and even in the very near future, a move is unlikely. But as Ronaldo’s career winds down a stay elsewhere in Spain cannot be ruled out, especially if Madrid can procure a record fee and unearth a new talent to take his place one day.