Why is Ronaldo Leaving Madrid?

With the Portuguese superstar on his way to Juventus in a £105m move, we analyze the key reasons behind him leaving and what this could mean for Real Madrid.

By SportBrief Reporter

A chat with La Liga’s most renowned expert analyst and pundit Guilem Balague revealed some of the key reasons for Ronaldo’s decision to leave Madrid and also the implications the move could have on the Spanish giants.


Why does Ronaldo want to leave?

Ultimately, it comes down to him not feeling wanted enough. Ronaldo has spent nine glittering seasons with Madrid and lifted his fourth Champions League trophy in five years just a few weeks ago, but he has a complicated relationship with club president Florentino Perez.

“It’s a personal issue,” Balague told Sky Sports in Friday’s episode of the Transfer Talk podcast. “Juventus are happy to pay him €30m net per year. He would earn the same if he signed a new contract at Real Madrid, but he feels he’s not wanted.

“The background is that a year ago, Perez said he would increase Ronaldo’s wages. Cristiano was waiting for an offer, and meanwhile, Lionel Messi got a new contract worth €41m net per year, Neymar is earning €35m net per year, and he is only earning €21m net per year.

“He also feels there is a lot of talk about Neymar. When Cristiano won the Ballon d’Or, Perez said that if Neymar wanted to win the Ballon d’Or he needed to move to Real Madrid. Cristiano didn’t like that, but when he threatened them with leaving, he felt Real Madrid didn’t do enough to try and keep him.

“It’s all very confusing. He wants to leave but at the same time he wants to be stopped. Anyway, Real Madrid are happy to let him go, but they want him to say publicly that he’s leaving, so the finger of blame goes to him and they can give him a spectacular send-off.”


How can Juventus afford him?

Balague estimates the total cost of the transfer, including all fees and wages over the course of the proposed four-year contract, would total upwards of €400m euros.

“Quite clearly, financial fair play will play a part here, which means they will have to be very careful how they do this, but Real Madrid believe Juventus have sorted that out.

“I believe in the last 48 hours [amid the Ronaldo speculation], the value of Juventus in the stock market has increased 20 per cent. That explains one reason why they want him.”

Juventus will, however, need to sell players to balance the books. One player who has already been linked with an exit is Gonzalo Higuain, who is reportedly a target for Chelsea.


Could Ronaldo keep winning at Juventus?

Ronaldo would be confident of adding to his vast trophy collection at Juventus. The Old Lady are totally dominant in Italian football having won seven consecutive Serie A titles and four consecutive league and cup doubles.

They are a European force, too. Juventus have not won the Champions League since the 1995/96 season, but they have reached two finals in the last five years. With Ronaldo on their side instead of standing in their way, they would fancy their chances of going one better.


What next for Madrid?

After 450 goals in 438 appearances – including 44 in 44 last season – Ronaldo’s departure would leave a gaping hole at Real Madrid. So how do they plan to replace him?

“Florentino is not stupid, so if he’s letting Cristiano go it’s because something is happening,” said Balague.

But while Real Madrid are sure to flex their financial muscles as Ronaldo departs, acquiring a new Galactico will not be easy.

“The new Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui was told that there were going to be five new players, but I don’t see a Galactico available,” says Balague.

“The plan that was designed in the last few months was that Real Madrid’s attack would be Neymar, Marco Asensio and Cristiano, but PSG are saying there is no way they will let Neymar go. We will see now, with more money and more pressure involved, how that pans out, but PSG have said there is absolutely no way Neymar is leaving.”

Real Madrid have also been linked with Neymar’s PSG team-mate Kylian Mbappe, with Eden Hazard another reported target, but Balague says Harry Kane and Robert Lewandowski could prove to be out of their reach.

“I know Harry Kane will be linked to Real Madrid but I still believe he’s going to stay at Spurs with his new contract and so on,” said Balague. “Lewandowski is desperately trying to leave Bayern Munich but they don’t want to let him go. So it’s not as easy as it may sound for Real Madrid.”


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