Ronaldo, a bottle of wine and Manchester United

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Guest writer Iain Anderson, of Why Say Anything fame, gives his take on rumours that Cristiano Ronaldo could leave Real Madrid at the end of the season. 

What’s the connection between Ronaldo and a bottle of wine?

Well, it is a fairly widely agreed fact that wine matures and improves with age. The same can be said about Cristiano Ronaldo, although he cannot keep on improving indefinitely.

The better the wine becomes with age and maturity, the more expensive it becomes to buy. The same can be said about Cristiano Ronaldo, although when a footballer reaches the age of 31 it is very unusual for his value to have soared to the ridiculous figures being quoted by the press. They reckon that Ronaldo will leave Madrid at the end of this season and, the cost to any club wishing to buy him, will be north of £100 million.

This would mean that, having been sold by Manchester United in 2009 at the age of 24 for £80 million, his value has risen to such an extent that he is now worth over £20 million more than he was then.

Even accounting for inflation and Ronaldo’s performances for Real Madrid, which actually make his original transfer fee look ridiculously low, this is the market gone mad.

Any potential purchaser, and I expect there are probably only three or four in Europe who can afford the fees and wages, would be buying a player for maybe 3-4 years. After this time, (if not before), superman’s powers will have started to wane.

When he reaches the age of 34 or 35 I expect him to be a slower, more ponderous player. Can he drop back into a midfield role with age? I am not sure that Ronaldo can become unselfish enough to do that. After all, it is his single-mindedness and selfishness that have brought him to level he is at today.

So what does this mean to the likes of PSG and Manchester United, who would be the favourites in Europe for his signature?

Well, firstly, it would be a very good deal for Real Madrid. Let’s assume for a moment that they would accept £100 million for him. What that actually means is that Ronaldo, having been in Madrid for seven years, will have cost Real only £11.4 million per year to buy. In return they would receive the equivalent of £14.3 million per year for the same time period. Not bad business. Yes, they lose their star player, but for how much longer is that title going to be Ronaldo’s?

PSG would like Ronaldo because they want to be taken seriously as major contenders in Europe. They have already bought themselves the position of best team in France.

Manchester United would like him because they like him and he likes them. Manchester City would like him because Manchester United would like him and for similar reasons to PSG.

I don’t think any of the three clubs actually need him, but he is a crowd pleaser and can fill stadia all over the world. Again, the question here is whether the potential outlay is worth the potential short-term gain.

The likelihood is that, if Ronaldo does leave Real Madrid, he will probably go to United or PSG. I can’t see that arrangement being for much longer than two or three years, at which time, I expect him to pitch up somewhere in the good old US of A. Once there and if they are still playing, he can run rings round Gerrard and Lampard again as he used to do in the old days.

Whatever happens in the future, once he and Lionel Messi have departed these shores, we can only hope that somebody else has emerged who is nearly as good as them. If we are really lucky there may even be another two!

Like this article? Read more at Iain’s personal blog.

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