One of the burning questions in football today is whether or not Cristiano Ronaldo has a future at Real Madrid beyond his current contract, expiring at the end of the 2014-2015 season. The answer? No matter what Ronaldo says, it doesn’t a mean a thing right now.
Because Ronaldo’s desire to stay with Real Madrid has nothing to do with what he says to the public and the amount of Ballon d’Or he wins. It only depends on whether or not Real Madrid have a shot at winning a title.
Pretty simple – Last season everything was perfect. Well, not perfect. Real Madrid didn’t win the Champions League, and eventually, Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t score enough goals to outshine Lionel Messi and win those individual awards that mean so much to him (they usually mean to more to those who don’t win them).
Still, winning the La Liga for the first time since arriving to Spain meant a chance of direction for Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho, who is connected to this decision in more ways than one.
The decision to say he’ll be staying with Real Madrid forever not too long ago came when everything looked perfectly fine. Real Madrid were the champions, and the feeling was that this core of players is going to bring back the Champions League pretty soon. It still might. More importantly – Jose Mourinho, a manager known for not sticking around too long at any club regardless of his achievements, seemed content and willing to commit his future to the club as well.
Gerard Pique, who is a Barcelona fan besides being a Barcelona player, said something quite true the other day – Jose Mourinho gets away with a lot, especially when he wins. When he wins, he’s a genius, but now, when Real Madrid are struggling, it’s easy to kick him while he’s down, for what he’s doing with Iker Casillas and for his reactions on the pitch and to the press.
But when he’s on a role? Pique felt, and was right about it, that Jose Mourinho pretty much got away with, get this, physically attacking another manager (assistant manager at the time), Tito Vilanova, and that famous poke in the eye. A scene so surreal that the men in charge of Spanish football didn’t really react to it accordingly.
Mourinho’s future, through his agent, the same one that Cristiano Ronaldo uses, is murky. No longer very popular at Real Madrid not because of his behavior and megalomania, but simply because he’s not winning enough. Ronaldo feels that the ideal picture he saw and visioned in the summer is breaking apart, and opening a window in order to jump when necessary.
Don’t take his words as gospel; things change very quickly. A title and a shiny new contract offer the season his old one expires can convince him to stay. The continued lagging behind Barcelona for another season might see Ronaldo getting shipped off to a different team for a lot of money before there’s even a remote chance he leaves for free.
Footballers say things, and sometimes they actually mean what they previously spoke. It doesn’t mean that it’ll come true, or that they’ll stay true to their word. It’s all a matter of circumstances, and currently the situation in the Spanish La Liga is signaling the most loyal of mercenary “Madridistas” to keep an eye open for other options.