It’s been a rough start for a few of Europe’s mega clubs this season. Manchester United have a decent record, but they’ve had some really shaky displays. PSG, despite their lavish spending, have only been able to muster one win and three draws in their first four matches. Liverpool are off to their worst start in a half century… though that’s actually becoming fairly regular for them these days.
Even Real Madrid failed to earn their first 3-pointer of the league season until this past weekend, thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo brace. And while you normally might expect this to be plenty of cause for joy and celebration from the Portuguese attacker… today, that was definitely not the case.
Following Ronaldo’s 25th minute opener in the 3-0 win over Granada — a fantastic, no-angle nutmeg on the keeper — he rounded his run and slowly trotted back towards the half line, completely expressionless. He embraced the few teammates that come to see him straight-faced, though he did reserve a small smile and wave up to Irina and Junior in the stands. A similar lack of celebration came after his second goal, even prompting the announcers to make mention of his lack of reaction.
So in the post match interviews, the press predictably wanted to know what was up. Ronnie’s response, however, raised even more eyebrows:
“The people know the reasons why I didn’t celebrate the goals. I don’t do so when I am feeling sadness. It was due to a professional motive. The appropriate people inside the club know why I’m sad. I won’t say anything more.”
So we know Cris is upset for some sort of “professional” reasons with Real Madrid officials. But as you might expect, protesting one’s own goals and cryptic post-match quotes don’t really tell us who he’s sad with or why he sad with them.
That doesn’t mean we can’t guess them though.
So having analyzed his celebrations, and scrutinizing his explanation, I’ve developed my top five hypotheses why Cristiano Ronaldo might be feeling “professional” “sadness” with Real Madrid.
- Though they understand and appreciate his desire to upkeep his appearance, club officials have mandated that Ronaldo is no longer to tan any longer than 3 hours per day, as his oily skin might stain their brilliant white shirts.
- Director of Football Zinedine Zidane told Ronaldo it wasn’t an “injustice” that he didn’t get to take a penalty against Spain in this summer’s Euros, “especially when you probably chose to go fifth… like an idiot.”
- Not feeling as loved as he would like by his teammates, Ronaldo insisted everyone should give him a hug before and after each training session, match and team event. When everyone refused to do so, he reportedly mumbled something about how “Mancini would make everyone at City hug him” as he stormed out the locker room door.
- The current holder of the los blancos famous #7 shirt was enraged when the club refused to sign his son, the two-year old Cristiano Jr., to a professional contract with the Real Madrid reserves.
- Having lost out on the 2012 UEFA Player of the Year award to Andrés Iniesta, Cristiano convinces himself that the only way he’ll be assured of finishing ahead of the Barcelona players for all of those awards he truly deserves, is to become a Barça player himself. Unsurprisingly, Madrid presidente Florentino Pérez rejected Ronaldo’s idea of selling him to their dreaded rivals outright.
Are any of these the real reasons Ronaldo is salty with the Real Madrid brass? Only Ronaldo and those “appropriate people inside the club” truly know the answers to that question. And until he decides he wants to be a little more forthcoming during his interviews — or perhaps reveal an undershirt with a direct complaint screened on it after his next goal — then we’ll all have to remain in the dark.