By guest writer Thomas Rooney
After a summer of speculation, it was confirmed last week that Cristiano Ronaldo will not be joining La Liga champions Real Madrid. Don’t worry; I’m not going to bang on about this one again. Instead, I wanted to respond to reports suggesting that Robinho – who has been linked with a move to Chelsea – could now remain at the Bernabeu.
It seems that the main reason he even considered a move away was that he wasn’t happy with the current contract he had at Real Madrid. He wanted to be earning as much as the likes of Raul, Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Fabio Cannavaro. Considering the money saved by not having to pay Cristiano Ronaldo’s wages – Real Madrid can now afford to cave into Robinho’s demands.
I know what you’re thinking – he could, of course, have earned a significant amount more at Chelsea where he would have been paid at least £100,000 a week. However, it is being suggested that he never even fancied playing in England because of his dislike of the British climate. So, unsurprising for football today, it was down to one thing – money.
It seems more and more likely that Robinho was simply using Chelsea’s interest to get himself more money with a new contract at Madrid. The Premier League club had a £25m bid turned down by the Spanish club and this highlights that Madrid are keen to keep hold of their Brazilian superstar. Robinho knows this of course and is using it to his advantage. He knows that without Ronaldo coming to Spain, Robinho is still a key player for Bernd Schuster and if they want him, they will have to pay the sufficient wage.
Stuff like this really angers me. What makes Robinho think that he can earn as much as World Cup winner Cannavaro, leading goalscorer Van Nistelrooy or Madrid legend Raul? Fair enough, he played a significant part in last season’s title win – he scored eleven goals and made 14 assists – but should Madrid really make him one of the club’s top earners? Has he done enough? I would say, no. However, I’d happily place my football betting money on Madrid paying him what he wants, should it be true that he does in fact want to remain in Spain. Player power runs supreme in football these days and that won’t be changing anytime soon.
Anyway, that’s enough transfer speculation for today. Let’s briefly discuss Madrid’s chances of retaining the title this season. Well, according to the football odds, they are favourites to do so. It’s not hard to see why either. For once, they haven’t made their big name signings or what I like to call ‘marquee players’. They will continue forward with the same group of players that won the league rather comfortably last season. Hopefully, they will be staying loyal to their manager as well. They will want to improve on last year’s Champions League campaign – they only made it to the last 16 – but the bread and butter is the league and Schuster delivered on that front so he should be trusted to improve things in Europe as well.
There biggest rivals in La Liga are presumably Barcelona, but with a new coach and a large overhaul of players, it could go either way for them. The quality of their signings can’t be underestimated though and should they get it right early on, it could be the closest title race in some time. However, I’m backing Real Madrid to emerge victorious over a Barcelona side that will be relying on their big name signings to gel very quickly.