Ferguson eyes Old Trafford return for unhappy Ronaldo
“When I don’t celebrate goals, I am not happy. I am not going to say more. People know why.”
With this declaration following two goals in Real Madrid’s 3-0 win over Granada last week, Ronaldo sparked a week-long debate in the Spanish press as to the reasons behind his malaise.
The theories range from frustration at being regularly chosen behind the likes of Messi and Iniesta in annual awards, a fall-out with teammates, the lack of love shown towards him by the Madrid ultras, becoming fed up with public pestering, to modern football’s all-too-frequent complaint – money.
Just the week before Ronaldo’s brace at the Bernabeu, Spanish sports daily Marca published a list of the top ten best-paid footballers.
The former Manchester United man was tenth, behind the likes of Eto’o, Ibrahimovic, Yaya Toure, arch rival Messi and former teammate Wayne Rooney. Meanwhile another paper, As, highlighted that he’s not even the top earner at Madrid – on level par with Kaka.
The man who has scored a formidable 150 goals in 149 games is also said to be underwhelmed by the support he receives from the home fans, noticing that his name is not cheered any louder than for his teammates before kick off.
However unlikely a scenario such as this would seem to the average fan watching in the stands, it appears that the Portuguese international is feeling under-appreciated and under-paid.
And having relinquished their grip on the Premier League title last season, the news of this disillusionment has reached his former club Manchester United, with news agencies in both countries reporting that Sir Alex Ferguson would jump at the chance to once again recruit the man he signed from Sporting Lisbon when he was 18 years old.
Madrid are to respond to the speculation by releasing a joint statement, expected to reaffirm Ronaldo’s love for the club and insist that he is going nowhere. However the rumours of his unhappiness will surely continue throughout the season, while his goalscoring celebrations will undoubtedly be scrutinised.
Ronaldo still has a lot of affection for Ferguson, and credits him for much of the success he has enjoyed since signing for United in 2003. But whether that would be enough to persuade Ronaldo to return to Old Trafford, or whether United would be able to afford him in the face of inevitable competition from big-spenders PSG, FC Anzhi and even Manchester City, is another matter.