Would Real Madrid really trade Ronaldo?

Cristiano RonaldoAlong with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo always enters into conversations involving who the world’s best footballer is. But does that make him indispensable in the eyes of Real Madrid? Maybe not, as a recent report suggests.

Despite currently leading the La Liga standings with 57 points, Real Madrid is starting to get a little disgruntled with their star player. First off, team management and fans were annoyed when Ronaldo threw himself a big 30th birthday party following an embarrassing 4-0 loss to rival Atletico Madrid. This prompted fans to show up to the team’s next practice with chants of “more balls, less parties.”

Real Madrid also isn’t happy about the lack of production that Ronaldo has given after coming off a two-game suspension for a red card.

Now, Sport-English.com claims that Florentino Perez, Real Madrid’s president, could be looking to cash in on Ronaldo while he’s still at an elite level. This seems quite strange when you consider the Portuguese star’s overall talent along with the fact that, as recently as December, Perez called Ronaldo the “world’s best player.”

However, it should also be pointed out that Perez had had no trouble selling off other team stars like Angel Di Maria, Mesut Ozil and Xabi Alonso – all of whom seemed like they were totally safe due to their contributions.

But while these three players were great for Real Madrid, Ronaldo still remains on a different level. Even this year, after struggling in the 2014 World Cup due to a bad knee injury, the 30-year-old has defied logic with some of his incredible plays. So on some level, it still seems like this report can be cast off as mere gossip.

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Then again, if Perez wants to recoup a good portion of the $123 million transfer fee that he paid for Ronaldo in 2009, now is the time. This is especially the case when one considers that Manchester United, the team that originally sold Ronaldo for this then-record amount, might be willing to buy him back.

A deal of this magnitude could also work because Real Madrid would love to have United goalkeeper David De Gea back in Spain. It’s no secret that they’d like to find a successor to goalie Iker Casillas, and De Gea could be exactly that.

But if any potential deal is on the horizon, one definitely won’t hear about it from Ronaldo himself. The striker has been pretty quiet about the whole matter heading into this week. We also can’t expect any info out of Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, who’s only had good things to say about his star.

“Among the squad, he’s a leader, he talks to all the members of the squad, especially the younger players, he’s an important part of the squad as are Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Casillas and Marcelo,” Ancelotti said. “If he keeps faithful with the passion he has, his career can continue for some time due to his optimum physical condition.”

Unfortunately for Ancelotti, he doesn’t have the final say on roster moves, as Perez has shown plenty of times in the past. Getting rid of Ozil (to make way for Gareth Bale) and dumping Di Maria (for James Rodriguez) are perfect examples of this.

Real Madrid Betting: Cristiano Ronaldo gets Hat Trick against Athletic Bilbao

Real Madrid CF v Athletic Club - La LigaThe 2014-15 La Liga season is going nicely for Cristiano Ronaldo, who’s already netted 13 goals in six appearances for Real Madrid. His latest three goals came courtesy of Sunday’s match against Athletic Bilbao during a 5-0 rout. Thanks to his latest effort, Ronaldo is now tied for the La Liga record for hat tricks (22) with Alfredo Di Stéfano and Telmo Zarra.

His first goal against Athletic Bilbao was a header off a Gareth Bale pass. 10 minutes into the second half, Bale found Ronaldo for another goal. Cristiano then unselfishly squared up Karim Benzema to make the score 4-0 in the 69th minute. Ronaldo completed his hat trick with two minutes remaining in the match by bouncing the ball of his body and into the net.

If not for some exceptional stops by Bilbao goalie Gorka Iraizoz, Real Madrid might have made this game even uglier. But regardless, the 5-0 victory shows that Real Madrid has shaken off some early-season sluggishness.

ronaldo-vs-athletic-bilbao-1“We still have room for improvement,” Ronaldo said. “The team played a good match and scored five goals without conceding, we are very pleased.”

With the victory, Real moves past Atlético Madrid into fourth place with 15 points. Atlético Madrid, the defending La Liga champions, now fall into fifth place following their 3-1 defeat at Valencia. FC Barcelona is currently leading all La Liga teams with 19 points. And with their 2-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano, they’ve become the first team in league history to avoid giving up a goal in the first seven contests (19 GF, 0 GA).

Going back to Ronaldo, he definitely looks to be over the knee injury that limited him throughout the 2014 World Cup. While CR3 played in all three of Portugal’s matches, he wasn’t always his dynamic self as the Portuguese bowed out in pool play. But now that he’s averaging over two goals per match, it’s clear that Ronaldo is set for another huge season in La Liga play.