Two names on everyone’s lips when it comes to the garbage time of the Real Madrid season: Jose Mourinho and Iker Casillas. Still that battle of egos keeps on clashing, while Cristiano Ronaldo, quietly, a failure of the Champions League semifinals, is going about his business.
Was Ronaldo injured against Dortmund? Probably not. He looked just fine before and after, last weekend against Valladolid. Just like he scored goals and did nothing else on the pitch during the first two matches in the group stage against the German club, that pattern was repeated in the semifinal. He scored a fluke goal in the first leg, and wasn’t completely erased off the pitch in the second one, despite playing the full 90 minutes plus injury time.
But tiny points of negativity in another brilliant season for Ronaldo shouldn’t be the focus point. He has scored 33 league goals and 53 in all competitions. No, there won’t be a Ballon d’Or waiting for him in seven months. It’ll be going to someone from Bayern or Dortmund if someone has some sense among the voting committee. But there are bigger things to worry about – his future at Real Madrid.
Like every good agent, Jorge Mendes is spreading rumors. Ronaldo hasn’t signed the generous contract extension given to him, which leads to more and more speculation. Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, but it’s hard to believe Real Madrid, knowing they have him on contract till 2015, will be forced into such a transfer. It’s pretty much crazy giving up on Ronaldo, knowing that even a sad, depressed one is worthy a goal each match, especially when he’s not really depressed.
Playing badly is bad for the Ronaldo brand, which means a lot to, well, Cristiano Ronaldo of course. Jose Mourinho looking to be on his way out of the club is worrying as well. Mourinho had his clash with Ronaldo this season, but has done a world of good for the player, both on the field and in front of the media, promoting him and his cause to triumph the Messi machine every single time it was made possible to him. It didn’t work, but Mourinho was there for him, at least it looked like that on the outside.
Now, a new manager. Probably. New tactics. Same Ronaldo, but who knows how Real Madrid will look next season. There’s a feeling of change in the air, maybe a bit too extreme. The foundation of the last four seasons, that will end up winning only one league title and possibly two Copa Del Reys was the most expensive squad assembled in the history of the sport, and but ends up as a memory of being second best. That’s not what Cristiano Ronaldo is about. He’s hoping the next Real Madrid manager is the one who forgets about egos and battles with the media, and instead focuses on how to finally reach the Champions League final and gaining some continuing dominance in the La Liga, instead of showing everyone who is the boss.