With good news in short supply at Barcelona, the club have at least tied down Leo Messi until 2021, in the process getting their most important piece of business sorted. Without a shadow of a doubt. I reckon Cristiano Ronaldo's angry threat to leave Real Madrid would have left more than the odd Barça fan envisioning the following chain of events: Florentino Pérez gets a fat wad of cash for Cristiano from a Chinese team, promptly agrees terms with Messi, pays his release clause (which, until his new contract, was 200 million euros), and whisks him to Real. That was never more than a hypothetical scenario, for starters because nobody truly believes Cristiano is going to leave; but, all the same, many will have breathed a sigh of relief when Messi put pen to paper. His buy-out figure is now 400m.
Messi is worth every penny Barcelona have stumped up for him
Messi's been handed a bumper pay packet of 25m net a year - having learned that the tax office'll kneecap you if you try to sidestep it, it'll be almost double that gross - and, what's more, highly reputable sources have it that he's to pocket a signing-on fee of 50m, spread out over the duration of his deal. So one way of looking at it is that Barcelona are signing a wonderful footballer (he was a free agent next year) for 50m. In these times in which Kylian Mbappé is slapped with a price tag of 100 and a (very big) bit, it's money well spent for Barça. His wage is astronomical, but it's the rate you have to pay for a player of the mega-galactico status occupied by him and Cristiano, who are the faces of a decade defined by two prodigious talents.
Cristiano Ronaldo cannot let this situation go on...
And all the while, what of Cristiano? He's busy putting out holiday snaps, but continues to say nothing about what they say he said - which he clearly did. It's understood that he has sent reassuring messages to Real, where they've never really taken his paddy seriously. The fans have, though. All around, I encounter Madridista upon Madridista who's had enough. He can always say it was just A Bola telling stories, but no-one's going to believe that now. It'd be great if he came out and struck the kind of tone that'd help him regain the love he's lost. It wouldn't be hard. A simple "I was angry, I made a mistake, and I've thought better of it" would do. With every day his silence goes on, he's only creating a wider rift with the fans.