You’d think that sum, along with $300,000 a week after taxes and a 50 percent share of shirt sale profits would turn the world’s Footballer of the Year into a compliant and happy employee.
Fast cars and easy women keep the Portuguese winger happy. But compliant? Not so much.
During his highly-publicized medical at Real Madrid, Ronaldo sported an absurdly large Nike swoosh T-shirt. That normally wouldn’t be a big deal, except for the fact that adidas pays Real Madrid $42 million annually to be the club’s official outfitter and has a contract with the team that runs until 2012.
Nike pays Ronaldo $9.85 million a year to sport the swoosh.
After shelling out more than $280 million to sign the likes of Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema and Raul Albiol, Madrid’s president Florentino Perez has asked adidas to double its sponsorship package to $84 million a year. By doing so, the team risks alienating adidas and gives Nike a slim hope of swooping in, especially with their Golden Child in tow.
Now, comes news that Ronaldo refuses to wear his new No. 9 jersey if it says “C Ronaldo” on the back. He just wants it to say “Ronaldo.” Problem is, there has already been a No. 9 for Real Madrid named Ronaldo (that being the overweight tranny-chasing Brazilian forward).
Club officials are worried that by not utilizing the “C” it means fans can just use their old Ronaldo shirts from three seasons ago instead of buying brand new No. 9 Ronaldo jerseys. Adios dinero.
(He can’t wear No. 7 because it’s occupied by Spanish veteran Raul, who has played 521 games for Real Madrid since 1994 and scored 223 goals.)
Ronaldo, the Brazilian, played with Real Madrid from 2002-07 and scored 83 goals in 127 games before joining AC Milan in 2007. During his time at the Bernabeu, Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima made the No. 9 jersey his own.
Early in his career, the Brazilian Ronaldo was referred to as Ronaldinho (“Little Ronaldo”) because Brazil’s 1994 World Cup team already had a Ronaldo (Ronaldo Rodrigues de Jesus). And everybody knows, nobody fucks with the Jesus.
At the 1996 Olympics, Ronaldo wore “Ronaldinho” on his shirt because Brazilian defender Ronaldo Guiaro was two years his senior. That year, Ronaldo won the first of his three FIFA World Player of the Year honors, and was firmly entrenched as The Ronaldo.
Which is good because in 1999 some semi-retarded looking dude named Ronaldo de Assis Moreira came along under the tag Ronaldinho.
Why so many God damn Ronaldos? Who knows, but Cristiano Ronaldo’s full name is Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro. The Ronaldo part of the name was chosen in honor of then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan, who was Ronaldo’s dad’s favorite actor. He instantly just became Rush Limbaugh’s favorite player. Oh wait, he’s not American? Nevermind then.
This isn’t the first time Ronaldo has managed to make headlines because of his jersey.
When Ronaldo made his move from Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United after the 2002-03 season, he was asked what number he’d like to wear. Ronaldo requested No. 28 (his number at Sporting Lisbon). Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson told him he was going to wear No. 7, the same number worn by Red Devil legends George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona and David Beckham.
“I wasn’t going to say to (Ferguson), ‘No, no mine is the 28.’ It’s a sacred line. David Beckham, George Best. I am honored to form part of this list. History will judge if I am worthy.”
Scoring 84 goals in 196 appearances, helping United win the Champions League in 2008 and claim three consecutive Premier League titles (2007-09) certainly deems Ronaldo worthy.
Whether he can replicate that success at Real Madrid, who knows? I guess we’ll just have to wait and C.