Cristiano Ronaldo is having a tricky time. First the player was apparently offered by his agent to Barça and now to Atlético Madrid, two impossible destinations because in both places neither club really wants nor needs the striker and even if either club did decide that he would be a positive addition, the economic demands would be prohibitive. If the Portuguese wants to move, he will need to realign his financial pretensions and despite his advanced age, this is something that he appears reluctant to do. At Real Madrid he averaged 50 goals per season throughout the 9 years he was there, which is an incredible statistic. Over the past season at United he bagged 25 goals which is an impressive figure in its own right but there is no hiding from age and Cristiano is not the same player he was some five years ago.
Atlético Madrid have an excessive amount of striking options at the club presently with the likes of Griezmann, Morata, João Félix, Correa and Cunha. Another huge stumbling block would be the Atleti faithful who have little time for Cristiano as a result of his time at the Bernabéu and the fact that he had a knack of hitting the net in derby games. Many ‘Colchoneros’ are still haunted by the penalty in Lisbon that secured the Champions League title in 2014. His jubilant celebration, removing his shirt when he scored the fourth goal in extra time and throwing it in the direction of the red and white clad fans still rankles. There is also his reputation of a self-centered player and this ethos clashes with Simeone’s hardworking and supportive style of management.
The striker from Madeira claims he wants to play in the Champions League next season and Manchester United were a Champions team when he arrived and if they are not currently, surely it’s up to him, along with his teammates, to make an effort to address that situation. Instead the striker has begun to look for ‘a project’, as they say. Messi was at Barcelona when Xavi and Iniesta left and was perplexed after Barça couldn’t guarantee him ‘a project’. When Kubala arrived at Barça, he was the project, when Di Stéfano arrived at Madrid, he was the project... And Pelé at Santos, Cruyff at Ajax... They became the project and this is something that Cristiano fails to appreciate as his search for a new home continues.