Unless you are currently under a footballing rock, you will be well aware that Cristiano Ronaldo is a bit sad at Real Madrid. The poor guy who only gets an estimated €11 million per year after his move from Manchester United to Real Madrid for €93.9 million, wrote to his Facebook followers ‘My feelings have caused a lot of commotion…I am accused that I would like to have more money, but one day it will become clear that this is not the case.’
The forward, who has enough accolades to fill Gongti, is winner of the 2008 Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year, among others, has sparked the obvious transfer debate and Sky Italia suggest that China could be among his destinations. The TV channel named the Manchester clubs, Paris St. Germain, LA Galaxy, AC Milan and Barcelona, the usual outfits linked with moves for players of this calibre. Interestingly though, Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala, anywhere in Dubai and Shanghai Shenhua were also suggested, with the channel justifying the idea by citing the spending power of Guangzhou Evergrande thus far.
Shanghai Shenhua owner Zhu Zhun was featured on the front of Chinese paper Football news with the headline “Ronaldo is unhappy? Zhu Zhun smiles.” Ironically, his club have just last week managed to make the news, was broken on this very website, due to rumours that their investor Zhu may withdraw his cash and leave the club unable to afford their current stars, Drogba and Anelka. No-one seems to notice the fact that Ronaldo, in his prime, would surely command even bigger wages than Drogba or Anelka, yet the press happily link him with Shenhua anyway.
Guangzhou Evergrande have themselves also had a similar problem to Real Madrid in attempting to keep their highly paid Darío Conca happy.
Ronaldo, in the same fashion as his move from Manchester United, has remained somewhat cryptic on his Facebook account, neither confirming nor denying that he would leave, ‘At this point, I just want to guarantee to the Real Madrid fans that my motivation, dedication, commitment and desire to win all competitions will not be affected.’ It seems the problem also exists at Barcelona with Cesc Fabrebas also unhappy, odds on Fabregas links to Shanghai next week anyone?
The idea of Ronaldo or more big name players in the CSL is exciting of course but is somewhat surreal and in this writers opinion, very unlikely. But the fact Chinese clubs are linked with this kind of deal is encouraging despite how far fetched the rumour may be. The CSL is now an attractive destination for foreign players while the money is here but hopes should be high that the influx of internationally acclaimed players can improve Chinese football and not just drain the money from it.
Ground: Hongkou Football Stadium, Hongkou District, Shanghai
Capacity: 35,000 (26,000 for football)
Honours: Chinese top-tier league champions: 1995
Chinese top-tier league runners-up: 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008
Chinese FA Cup winners: 1998
Chinese FA Cup runners up: 1995, 1997, 2015