AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has stated that Cristiano Ronaldo is on the Rossoneri’s summer transfer wishlist, with the Italian club ready to make a world record offer for the Portuguese attacker come June. However, with Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals, in with a chance of winning the tournament for the first time since 2002 and off the back of beating bitter rivals Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey final, why oh why would Los Blancos part with their star man?
The ex-Sporting Lisbon attacker matured and grew as a player at Manchester United, with Sir Alex Ferguson and his coaching staff at Carrington transforming the Portugal international from a promising, fast winger who frustrated with lots of fancy tricks and flicks, into a second striker with strength, finishing ability and an end product in mind (while continuously deflecting the numerous transfer rumours surrounding the player and Barcelona / Real Madrid).
When the Red Devils decided to sell CR7, they received £80 million for the player, a move that dominated sports news headlines for weeks. £80 million. So with the 26 year old in the prime of his career and having returned almost a goal a game for Jose Mourinho’s side (scoring 42 goals in all competitions this season) one would imagine that it would take £100 million at least to buy him.
With Los Galacticos not exactly short of cash however, what do they need £100 million for? And who could they buy with that money that would do anywhere near as good a job as Ronaldo currently does?
One of Madrid’s star men this season has been German international Mesut Ozil, who has delighted the Bernabeu with his craft, guile and vision, and the ex-Werder Bremen player is a key part of the side’s attacking brand of football. Despite the creative midfielder’s abilities and continued place in the Madrid starting XI, and with Ozil being the best contender to step into Ronaldo’s boots if the Portuguese forward did leave, Mourinho’s side would lack a certain cutting edge.
Ronaldo gives them the fear factor; in a team of world class international players it is he that opponents fear, he who no-one wants to mark and his ruthlessness is the point of the Los Blancos spear.
Jose Mourinho has stated that he will leave the club should Florentino Perez sell the Madeira born attacker, and who could blame him. Real Madrid would be a much wealthier club without Ronaldo but are a much better team with him, and if they are to break Barca’s stranglehold on Spanish football they need to keep their best player. Ronaldo, ‘The Special One’ and a team of superstars have a chance of glory, a new coach and no CR7 surely do not; Signor Berlusconi your money is no good here.
Gareth McKnight is a columnist at the Soccerlens.com football blog.