Do you remember the happiness? Nine years ago, Florentino Perez put a smile on the millions of Madridistas around the world as he finally signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United. He had to break the bank to get it done but that didn't matter as long as he got his man. For a while, nothing else mattered. Nine years later, the man who came to Real Madrid to continue showing how good he can be has shown us all time and time again that he has no ceiling and will always get better while defying all odds.
Of course, his signing did not come without its problems. Financially, things were still stable and Financial Fair Play (FFP) still did not come into effect. Aside from that though, there was always a sense that the Portuguese was begging for the spotlight. In the beginning, it was a lot more obvious than it is now and he has grown tremendously since his days in the English Premier League. Now though, it has become difficult to remember a summer where he was not linked to another club. He inevitably makes a very vague comment at the end of each season knowing very well that the media will go into a frenzy to dissect every single syllable that came out of his mouth. Usually, what made that all end was Florentino Perez getting involved and practically throwing money at Ronaldo. The question now is: When does that stop?
Before I continue, I hope that you don't misunderstand where I'm going with this. I am not and will never take anything away from what Cristiano Ronaldo has given us and what he has meant for Real Madrid. I will not take away his importance to the club nor will I undermine how unbelievable he is as a player. I will not even remotely hint that any other signing or any other player could be as good as him. What I will say though is no matter who you are, there is a time where enough is enough.
Cristiano Ronaldo demanded a new contract and got it. He demanded respect and got it. He continued his demands whether on the pitch or in the media and always got what he wanted. If the media is to be believed and Ronaldo wants a new contract once again, then I will stand with Perez and say that he shouldn't get one. As the media stated, it is a matter of respect and not money. Well, the way I see it, they have a point but it should be from Cristiano to the club and not vice versa.
Contracts are there to be respected. Every player has a right to ask for a new contract but should be humble enough when the club says no (if the reasons are valid of course). With Ronaldo, I do not see a valid reason for him to come out once again and ask for a new contract. If he chooses to leave Real Madrid and join Juventus because of that, then be it. We will find a way to be okay without him. Real Madrid are bigger than any player and the second that statement no longer rings true is the only time I will admit that the club are in crisis.
Will Los Blancos be as strong without him? No but the team is more than one person even when that person is someone who has saved us on numerous occasions in the past. If the Portuguese leaves the club, then we will deal with it just like we have when so many others have left. Real Madrid have already been preparing for life after Ronaldo and even though they probably didn't imagine it would come this soon, it doesn't mean that they are not ready.
Personally, I still believe that he will stay and if he does, we will all breathe a sigh of relief knowing that we still have the world's best player. If he leaves, all I can say is thank you for the unforgettable moments and goodbye. After that, we move on. As a collective unit, we can continue to achieve greatness. Cristiano Ronaldo will be stuck in our memories and that's something I hope lasts for generations to come but if he decides to leave, we should let him go.
So, if this is the final article I write on the matter and Cristiano does leave the club this summer, I want to take this moment to tell you all that there is no point in hating him or criticizing him. There is no reason to scream and shout and pretend like this is the end of the world. Cristiano Ronaldo was part of our team and has broken records we never thought could be broken. He has been part of a golden generation that won three UEFA Champions League titles in a row. He has been a leader on and off the pitch. Appreciate what you had, even those of you who didn't appreciate him while he is there. Cristiano Ronaldo has given us his best years and for that we should be nothing short of thankful.