Real Madrid soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly insisted that he wants to move away from the Spanish club this summer. Ronaldo has been a Real Madrid player since he left Manchester United in 2009. Since joining the Spanish giants, Ronaldo has scored 406 goals in 394 appearances for Real Madrid, and as Metro report, he is considered one of the finest players of all time. Ronaldo has helped Real Madrid to two Spanish titles and three Champions League wins during his time at the club. As one of the world's top players, Ronaldo will be hot property should he manage to engineer a move from Madrid.
According to the Telegraph, Ronaldo is desperate to leave Real Madrid, and he has indicated that he will not shift his stance. According to reports, Ronaldo wants to leave Spain because Spanish prosecutors have accused him of evading around $20 million of tax payments.
Cristiano Ronaldo's €1 Billion Release Clause, Can Anyone Afford It?
The problem for clubs who might be interested in signing Ronaldo is that Ronaldo signed a five-year contract with Real Madrid last November. According to Eurosport, Ronaldo's contract has a €1 billion [$1.12 billion] release clause, and at that price, it would be virtually impossible for any club to afford him.
To put that figure into perspective, the highest soccer transfer fee ever was Paul Pogba's move from Juventus to Manchester United last summer. Pogba cost United close to $120 million, or slightly over 10 percent of Ronaldo's release fee.
If Ronaldo is to secure a move away from Real Madrid, he will have to convince the club to settle for a much smaller fee, though that fee is likely to set a new world record. Ronaldo's wages are likely to be out of reach for most clubs. He reportedly earns around $500,000 a week at Real and is reportedly the world's highest paid athlete, once endorsements and merchandise sales are taken into account.
According to Eurosport, Real Madrid could settle for a transfer payment of around $150 million. Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are said to be interested at that price. Manchester United fans would love to see Ronaldo back at Old Trafford, but will the club be willing to gamble such a huge amount on a player who is 32-years-old?
There is no doubt that Ronaldo is a supremely fit athlete, but his age indicates that he is entering the twilight of his career. Ronaldo would still be a huge asset to any soccer club, but will any club be brave enough to lavish such huge sums of money on a single player?
We shall have to wait to see what happens, but you can be sure that Cristiano Ronaldo will be this summer's biggest soccer story.
[Featured Image by Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP]