Focused on winning, not contract – Ronaldo
Madrid – Cristiano Ronaldo says he is focused on winning for Real Madrid and not on his contract, beating down speculation that he is unhappy with his reported 10 million euro (R108 million) salary.
Ronaldo shocked fans last week by declaring he was “sad” at the Spanish league champions without explaining why, except to insist later that it had nothing to do with money.
“I would like to reaffirm, without being concerned about contracts, that my focus is solely on winning every game and every available trophy with the essential company of my team-mates and all madridistas,” Ronaldo said on his Facebook account yesterday evening.
Spanish media have speculated that Ronaldo’s real gripe is his level of pay compared to other top players worldwide.
Top-selling Spanish sports daily Marca said this week that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez was ready to offer him a “substantial” pay increase and an extension in his contract, without citing its source.
Marca said Ronaldo wanted 15 million euros a year, also without providing a source.
The paper says the star forward now earns 10 million euros and is 10th in the list of the world’s best-paid footballers, with Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o, of Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala, on 20 million euros and new Paris Saint-Germain recruit Zlatan Ibrahimovic on 14.5 million euros.
Ronaldo, who joined Real Madrid on July 1 2009, still has three years to run on his initial six-season contract.
Speculation that Ronaldo was unhappy with his salary did not go down well with fans in Spain, which is in a deepening recession with one in four workers unemployed.
A cartoon on a rival Barcelona fans’ website shows two men sitting at a bar.
One says to his friend: “Poor Cristiano, he’s never had the luck to work in construction or in a mine.” His friend replies: “If I wasn’t unemployed I would scrape together some money for him.”
The 27-year-old Ronaldo confessed to being “sad” when asked why he had not celebrated either of the two goals he scored in Real Madrid’s 3-0 win over Granada on September 2.
Ronaldo has still not explained why he is unhappy, saying only that it was for professional, not personal reasons.
“People know why,” he said.
Asked if he was upset because Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta was crowned Uefa Best Player in Europe, he replied: “No, it’s not that. There are more important things.”
Last week, the forward took to his Facebook page and Twitter to deny financial motives for his misery.
“That I am feeling sad and have expressed this sadness has created a huge stir,” Ronaldo said.
“I am accused of wanting more money, but one day it will be shown that this is not the case.”
Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has refused to comment.
“I am not going to say anything about that,” the Portuguese coach said when asked about his compatriot’s troubles during an interview with sports daily AS, published last week.
“I am ready to talk about everything. I have answered in depth and sincerely. But don’t ask me about Cristiano. You have to understand. Please don’t insist.”