x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Pursuit of happiness for Cristiano Ronaldo involves a new contract

Ronaldo says his complaints are not about money but insiders believe he wants to be world's best paid player

Ronaldo is with the Portugal national team this week, ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Luxemburg on Friday. Paulo Cunha / EPA
Ronaldo is with the Portugal national team this week, ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Luxemburg on Friday. Paulo Cunha / EPA

So, what now for Cristiano Ronaldo? The likely outcome is that he will get his own way, just as his coach, Jose Mourinho, did.

In a bid for the absolute power which he demands, Mourinho fought several political battles and won them all as Real Madrid legends such as Jorge Valdano were pushed aside.

Mourinho's mantra was simple: do not interfere, give me control and I'll give you the trophies you've not been winning. He has a huge ego, he also delivered his promises by knocking Barcelona off the top of the table. Ronaldo was vital to that process and even though he earns €11 million (Dh50m) a year, it represents just over two per cent of Real's annual revenue.

He claims that his sadness is not about money, but sources close to the situation claim it is about him not being the best paid player in the world, about him not being club captain.

He wants to be more highly regarded by his teammates and by the ultra fickle Real fans who can boo their own, even on a good day. He knows football is a team game, but he also knows he is by far the most important player at the club.

He could earn more money joining a Russian club, Manchester City or PSG, but such a move would be a step down from a side chasing a record 10th European Cup.

Real's No 7 has flexed his muscles and he will probably be indulged with an improved contract, subsidised by the eventual sale of Kaka who earns the same yet doesn't play. That and more influence in team affairs. Only then might he be a little less sad.