‘Sporting don’t want the Cristiano Ronaldo circus’

Ben Jacobs
Ben Jacobs

  • Updated: 16 Dec 2022 15:07 GMT
  • 3 min read
Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo finds himself at a crossroads in his footballing career following his exit from Manchester United and faces a major decision as he considers his next club, football transfer expert Ben Jacobs explains…

Ronaldo only wants a certain type of club for a certain type of wage. He’d be prepared to take a pay cut for the right club and be flexible on contract length. But he’s not going to drop down the divisions, he’s not going to go significantly out of Europe’s Big 5 leagues.

Sporting Lisbon, which is maybe the only viable option out of the Big 5 leagues, is not something that’s something that’s going to happen.

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The manager there doesn’t want Ronaldo – they were ex-team-mates – and that’s not because they don’t get on, it’s simply because the way that he plays isn’t conducive to Ronaldo.

Sporting have already had an issue between the manager and Islam Slimani, the ex-Leicester City player. Slimani was quickly put into the reserves after they fell out and, following that, pushed out of the club.

The last thing that Sporting want is the same kind of Ronaldo circus, even though there’d be a great outpouring of sentiment and emotion. So that’s not a possibility.

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What does Ronaldo really want?

All that’s really left at the moment is Al-Nassr and Saudi Arabia, which is the single formal offer that’s on the table for Cristiano Ronaldo.

That’s the debate in Cristiano Ronaldo’s mind. Does he try to join a club for football-only reasons and try to add to the vast array of silverware that he has? Or does he look in the mirror and say, at 37 years of age, is it better to join a club based upon commercial reasons, based upon ambassadorial reasons, based upon strategic reasons, based upon brand reasons and based upon football reasons?

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