According to the Portuguese publication A Bola, in a shocking turn, worldwide superstar Cristiano Ronaldo says that he has made up his mind and decided to leave Real Madrid. It appears that he was extremely annoyed with his club not giving him support during his case with the Spanish government, which accused him of evading 14.7 million euros in taxes. This all comes as Ronaldo is in the middle of the greatest stretch of his career, helping his team to this year’s La Liga title, the club’s first since 2012, and his third Champions League title in the past four seasons. A Ballon d’Or frontrunner asking for such a move is unprecedented. It’s even more difficult for Real Madrid, as his release clause was set at one billion euros during his last contract extension, which was supposed to keep him with the club until 2021. To put into perspective, that’s about 10 times the amount Manchester United paid to Juventus for the services of French footballer Paul Pogba. Pogba’s 105 million euro fee is currently the world record. A week ago, there was an unconfirmed report that one club offered 180 million euros for Ronaldo, but Real Madrid is expected to require a fortune to have the footballer pried away from them.
As for potential destinations, Manchester United is one of the more well-funded clubs in Europe, but Ronaldo does not have the best relationship with current United coach Jose Mourinho, so it’s uncertain that he would sign off on that move. Paris Saint-Germain also has a good war chest to pull from and may feel a star is necessary to re-establish themselves in Ligue 1 after getting upset by Monaco last season. Of course, it might end up being that an Asian club is the only one to pony up a high enough bid to entice Real Madrid to let him go.