What next for Bale and Ronaldo?5 min read
Sergio Ramos lifting Real Madrid’s third Champions League in succession in Kiev on Saturday wasn’t too much of a surprise.
Los Blancos had shown an incredible desire to ensure the same and must take immense credit for negotiating their way to the title against a backdrop of abject failure in the league and cup.
Much more surprising was Cristiano Ronaldo’s outburst in the immediate aftermath of the victory.
It wasn’t the time or the place for the Portuguese to even hint that he might see his future elsewhere, and it rightly angered everyone in the dressing room and club president Florentino Perez.
Ramos was even quoted as telling his teammate to quantify his statement immediately.
It certainly took the shine off of what, in truth, was an easy win against a Liverpool side who were poor once Mo Salah went off.
In some respects, you have to admire the Ronaldo PR machine. In a final where he did nothing, all everyone was talking about after the game was him.
Even Gareth Bale’s incredible overhead kick had to take second place to the ‘news’ that, perhaps, Ronaldo was finally going to leave.
But we’ve been here before haven’t we?
When the record goalscorer for Los Blancos isn’t front and centre, the toys come out of the pram and, hey presto, a new contract appears and back on the front pages he goes.
It’s all a little tiresome and predictable now though.
To add insult to injury, not a day later, during the celebrations in Madrid and at the Santiago Bernabeu, he was telling the crowds ‘see you next season.’
With Neymar a confirmed target, maybe now it’s time for Perez and his board to call Ronaldo’s bluff.
Whilst there’s no denying what he brings to Real Madrid, and he still has at least a couple of seasons at the very top left in him, the circus that surrounds him detracts from his on-pitch exploits.
Bale on the other hand, seems almost certain to be on his way out.
Subdued during the celebrations, in much the same way Alvaro Morata was this time last year, the Welshman was quoted as saying he will speak to his agent because he needs to be playing every week.
Will Zinedine Zidane guarantee that? Not on your life.
Noticeably, unlike in Ronaldo’s case, no one from the club has come out and urged the Welshman to stay, and that speaks volumes.
What’s odd is that Bale has been the second-best goal scorer this season, hasn’t been injured for some while now, and yet still can’t command a regular starting place. Karim Benzema, who has had his poorest campaign since joining in 2009, is still generally preferred.
Given the form the Welshman shown over the last 6-8 weeks, that should be enough to convince Premier League sides to make their move.
Should Bale go, then there’s simply no way Ronaldo will follow.
But do you really believe he wants to leave anyway?!