Mystery Ronaldo sadness issue gives Barcelona extra La Liga edge
Cristiano Ronaldo almost single-handedly won Real Madrid La Liga last season and if the striker is not in the frame of mind to produce his best, Barcelona will be certainties for the title.
Given that Barcelona are already five points ahead of their rivals after winning their opening three fixtures this season, it is no surprise that they have shortened to 4/11 to claim the La Liga title.
However, it is worth noting that Real Madrid had dropped five points through their opening five games last season before going on to secure a first title for four years.
Therefore, there is no reason to panic yet from a points perspective, with Real Madrid still 2/1 to make a success defence of their title.
But what may cause panic are the comments of star man Ronaldo after he scored twice in the 3-0 victory over Getafe.
Having not celebrated either strike, Ronaldo said afterwards that the reason was because he was “sad”, without going into any further detail other than that the club knew and it was for professional purposes.
Ronaldo’s relationship with some of the Spanish players at Real Madrid has always been a little iffy, but he did count Portuguese teammates Pepe and Fabio Coentrao among his closer friends, along with Marcelo.
There is the chance that he has had a severe falling out with one of this crowd or even somebody else at the club with whom he had previously got on well with.
Meanwhile, he still may feel undervalued by the supporters and that he is not held in the same esteem as Lionel Messi at Barcelona, despite their input being arguably identical.
The fact that Jose Mourinho knew nothing of this sadness is interesting given the way he oversees the club and its playing staff.
It has to be said that there is the outside chance that Ronaldo is trying to call Real Madrid’s bluff and this is a big con so that he receives a bumper new contract to encourage him to stay.
He is no longer the world’s highest earner after Zlatan Ibrahimovich’s move to PSG and given his egocentric tendencies, this may upset Ronaldo.
With the ability to pay huge salaries, PSG are 3/1 to be Ronaldo’s next club, while it is 5/1 that he makes a return to Manchester United.
Meanwhile, it is 4/1 that Ronaldo leaves next summer and 8/1 that when he does depart it is for over £100m.
Full Ronaldo specials
Ronaldo to leave Real Madrid in the January Transfer Window 10/1
Ronaldo to leave Real Madrid next summer 4/1
Ronaldo’s next club
Manchester City 7/2
Manchester United 5/1
AC Milan 8/1
Ronaldo to be sold for over £100m in his next transfer 8/1
Ronaldo’s next transfer fee to break his own record 4/1
Ronaldo to be the top scorer in La Liga this season 5/4
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.