So how is Critiano Ronaldo doing? Just fine. First hat trick of the season? Check. Huge pay increase on the way? Check. Real Madrid eased through their match with Deportivo after falling behind early, and the team and their best player looks ready for the first league Clasico of the season, heading to Barcelona.
This was Real Madrid playing the way Jose Mourinho would like. Not the defensive mistake early on (Raphael Varane) which allowed Riki to score a surprising (or maybe not so much) opener, but the constant pressure, the fast play up front and finally having his star player look dangerous for 90 minutes while also coming away with something to pad his ego.
In truth, both penalties were soft at best. While the second one is a matter of how a referee views mattes, there was no reason to call the first one, that helped Real shake the early jitters and get comfortable all at once. But if Barcelona enjoyed some referee mistakes 24 hours earlier, the rivals from Madrid, desperately dreaming of erasing an 8 point lead after only six matches, deserve some assistance as well.
Luka Modric is going to be filling in for players, this time giving Xabi Alonso some rest on the bench, as Jose Mourinho tries and figure out what works best for his team with the new Croatian midfielder, trying to find a spot for himself in a lineup that hardly changes. Mesut Ozil was again very weak, but it wasn’t necessary for him to be anything other than that. He left the pitch after one half, giving Kaka a chance to finally play some football. The Brazilian is rusty as you’d expect, but his cross did deliver the penalty and he had some nice moments. Food for thought, or maybe just a way to get rid of the subject for a short while.
This was more proof of Angel Di Maria’s form, creating a chance for goal from pass or shot nearly every time he touched the ball. Deportivo, just returned to the La Liga, were really no match even from before they scored their goal. Riki’s strike had nothing to do with the match. Just an anomaly that was easily corrected. Unlike Barca’s lucky venture to the South of Spain, it was hard thinking of Real not winning yesterday, even without the penalty kicks.
And why is Ronaldo so happy once again? There’s a good chance that when the contract re-negotiations end, he’ll be the highest paid player in the world once more, like he was three years ago, when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid. Where are his promises about telling everyone why he was unhappy? Money, money, money.
How much is he asking for? With taxes, it should amount to £400,000 a week. You do the match how much that means in a yearly salary. Plus, he wants more control (= money) on his image rights, which means cash coming in from his jersey sales, the most popular in the world these days. Yes, even more than you know who’s.
Can Real be playing any better? Yes. The 5-1 result is a bit of an exaggeration of what happened yesterday on the Bernabeu pitch, but that’s the La Liga for you. It’ll be interesting to see if Mourinho gives more players some rest midweek in the Champions League, knowing what’s waiting next weekend. Ronaldo, the player who brought the win and the title with his own legs late last season with the winner at the Camp Nou, looks ready. One less thing to worry about for Real.