Ronaldo’s ‘sadness’ exposes Real’s price tag – Is it too high for his own good?

In light of the quickly spreading rumors about Cristiano Ronaldo’s “sadness” at Real Madrid, the question I ask you is this – – Has Ronaldo become so good, and such a global star that he has actually priced himself out of the market?

Not in reference to his wages, which are actually below some of the professionals of his level, but his worth in the transfer market. Other players of his magnitude are far and few between, with Lionel Messi probably the only player consistently mentioned in the same breath.  Barcelona would surely hang an astronomical price tag on Messi, but I would argue Ronaldo carries even more weight in world markets like the U.S., making it difficult to judge his potential worth.

There are reports out that Real Madrid, if asked nicely, would let the superstar leave for around 200 million euros.  Of course there are clubs that would instinctively start salivating with a player like this on the market, but most of them would be sitting there like a dog hoping to get the steak from the grill, salivating uncontrollably, but with no real way of obtaining it.  Hard to say if this is a number Real Madrid actually considers realistic or simply something they threw out to create hype and maybe up his future value.

There are a small handful of clubs that could offer that amount of money, but even they would have to off load some players to make that happen.  Granted there are only a few clubs a player like Ronaldo would consider.  The question remains, has the outrageous amount of money transferring hands for players reached the market limit?  Is it so high that the best players will find themselves stuck at their current club no matter what, because they are simply to good and priced too far from the reach of any suitor?

The answer you always hear is that the market will dictate the price, but if the price is so high on a select few that no one can afford them then you have to lower the price on possibly only the highest players, therefore making them worth less than they actually should be when compared to everyone else.

At 200 million euros for a 27-year-old, you’re not getting that money back.  Or are you?  A global icon like Ronaldo might just be worth it, not only on the pitch and getting fans in the seats, but for apparel, club recognition, media, merchandise, etc.

In a short but interesting bit on Soccer by Ives they talk about the most purchased jerseys in the MLS.  David Beckham tops the list followed by Thierry Henry. Jerseys will by no means make up the 200 million, but the point is global icons can make money exponentially for a club, even if the performance on the pitch doesn’t match the price tag.  Admittedly, not a fair comparison as Ronaldo is 27 and at the top of his game. I have written about the over-use by the MLS of aging designated players in, Drogba almost drained more money from MLS, but I guess selling more jerseys is a bonus that might just make it worth it.  You can decide.

So, the answer in short is, no, he hasn’t priced himself out of the market just yet, but he’s dangerously close.  It will eventually change the way things happen if Real Madrid are not able to off load him before his contract expires and they end up losing him on free transfer.  Ronaldo as a free transfer?  Sounds ludicrous, and I doubt it would happen, but the outrageous price tags on these players is bound to have a negative effect at some point.  Or simply, the player values overall will begin to go down, by necessity.

Paris Saint-Germain could end up finding this out the hard way.  Their monumental spending, reportedly with money they don’t technically have could be an issue.   In addition, they are paying for players still very capable for the highest of European football, but they aren’t the young stars that will play for many years, and then also pay off later in the transfer market.  In a combined deal with Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (30 years old), they spent 65 million euros.  UEFA is looking into the situation at PSG as they claim the club must be taking losses when spending that kind of money.  Don’t forget Fernando Torres cost Chelsea a Premier League record 50 million pounds when they snatched him from Liverpool.

So, when you compare Ronaldo and even Messi to those guys and those numbers, Real Madrid asking for 200 million euros for a guy that has put in a whopping 117 goals over the past two seasons (including cup games), may not be out of the realm of possibility.

For Real Madrid it would be good business as they bought Ronaldo for a mere 80 million pounds from Manchester United.  But the team that buys him for 200 million euros will no doubt take a loss, and they might be fine with it in exchange for all the frills that come with Cristiano Ronaldo.

This may be all for nothing anyway, as Ronaldo has put the rumors that he’s unhappy with his contract at Real Madrid to rest, sort of.  Reports, and his “Facebook” comments, suggest he’s committed to the club, at least for the time being.  He also made the claim that there is an issue, but it’s between him and the club.

Although unsubstantiated at this point, it seems Ronaldo is frustrated that other players much less accomplished than himself are getting higher salaries . It’s a valid argument.

According to reports by Spanish newspaper AS on Wednesday, Ronaldo arrived a couple of hours early for training to meet with Jose Mourinho and discuss his apparent unhappiness. AS reported that the Madrid club was hoping to convince Ronaldo to make a public statement in an attempt to clear the air regarding the rumors of his desire to leave the club.

He seems to have done that with some success, while still leaving a hint that come next transfer window there could be a huge buy on the offer.

Manchester City is waiting with bated breath.

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One comment

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