Social media has been a blessing for athletes, because it has allowed them to speak to the world directly. No filters, no public relations, no decontextualized quotes. Just clarity. And someone should have told the team that manages the official accounts of Cristiano Ronaldo. Because even after his post on Tuesday night Instagram exceeds 12 million “likes” ends up raising more questions than answers.
With so much rumor, so much speculation that comes through the transfer window, it is normal for both club and player to look for the ideal situations to react. However, when they use social wheels, they are expected to do so in a way that clarifies the message so that it is digested unambiguously. Ronaldo’s post failed in this regard.
Let’s take a closer look at the case, with your permission.
The above event is that Ronaldo’s contract with Juventus, which pays him $ 80 million per season, expires after the season. He has been a productive figure and is coming off his best season in Serie A, but he also turns 37 in February, which is why the club is in no rush to extend Ronaldo’s contract.
The other reason, of course, is that Juve posted huge financial losses worth $ 300 million over the past two seasons. So it was speculated during the spring that if Ronaldo was willing to leave the club, Juventus would not stop the move, especially if he could charge a modest price (the Italian media calculated that it would be $ 30 million, or the residual amortization on their accounting books. ). True, they would lose one of the greatest players of all time, but they would save the cost of his salary instantly, instead of having to wait until he became a free agent in the summer, receiving nothing in return.
Cristiano’s reaction was prompted by an appearance on the Spanish television program “El Chiringuito de Jugones” by Edu Aguirre, a journalist from that country. In the early hours of Monday (local time), Edu reported that Carlo Ancelotti maintained regular contacts with Cristiano (player with whom he has a “wonderful” relationship) and his environment, wanting to bring him back to Real Madrid.
There is a reason why Aguirre had, at least initially, greater credibility than the average television commentator. I do not know Aguirre in person, but it is valid to say that he and Cristiano appear to have a close relationship. The journalist’s account on Instagram is full of photos of the two posing together. The most recent, dated mid-July, shows them both shirtless at some sort of vacation destination (obviously).
But there is more. Edu and Cristiano celebrating the player’s fifth Ballon d’Or on the pitch! Edu visiting Cristiano to see him play for Juventus! Edu and Cristiano, embraced for a selfie! Edu and Cristiano, together in dubai! Edu and Cristiano, on two large jet skis! Edu and Cristiano, celebrating the Champions League victory in Kiev! Edu and Cristiano, changing out of tennis shoes to put on soccer cleats next to a gigantic brown ball! Edu and Cristiano, posing together at the Globe Soccer Awards gala in Dubai! Edu and Cristiano, in what seems to be a Spider-Man themed birthday party!
Even Edu looks a bit like Cristiano or, to be more precise, a guy trying to look like Cristiano. The reporter has the chocolate bar abs, defined biceps and Cristiano’s smile. Of course, his account on Instagram is called EduAguirre7; coincidentally, the same number as Cristiano’s bib.
There is no doubt that Edu likes Cristiano. Very much. Even sometimes he starts to cry when Christian speaks. And, at least until a month ago, it is evident that (judging by his Instagram) he had greater access to it than 99.99 percent of the world’s population; why a reasonable person would take you seriously. And that is the reason why it was a bit surprising to read Cristiano referring to the “recent episode in Spain” and how he cannot “allow people to continue playing with his name.”
Does that mean your friend Edu acted quickly? Did Edu invent things or, at least, exaggerate them? Did they stop being friends?
We do not know. We do not know because his post on Instagram does not tell us anything about it. We just know that you are focused on your work, committed and ready for all the challenges to come, and that the rest is just hearsay. And he manages to say all of the above without even mentioning the team he currently plays for, with which he has a signed contract until June 30, 2022: Juventus.
On Tuesday afternoon, Ancelotti went to Twitter to deny the information transmitted in “El Chiringuito”. He expressed that Cristiano was a legend of Madrid and that he has all his affection and respect; however, he clarified that he had never considered bringing him back to the merengue squad and that he was looking “forward.” I don’t know if Ronaldo’s partner, Georgina Rodríguez, has her own social media team, or if she publishes on her own; although perhaps it is the same guys who manage Cristiano’s networks, because it did not provide any greater clarity, reacting to Ancelotti’s publication with a “hahahahaha”.
Well, Georgina: where is the joke? Did you laugh at the idea that Cristiano could return to Madrid? Or does your laugh imply that Ancelotti is lying when he says “I have never considered signing him”? We do not know; but if it is the latter, then we can believe by association that poor Edu Aguirre was telling the truth, right? So Cristiano couldn’t have gotten angry with him, could he? Or is it? I have no idea. No one has a clue, with the exception perhaps of Cristiano, Georgina, and their family and friends (including Edu … or perhaps not).
And while Cristiano does not like so much talk, it is inevitable that people will talk, simply due to the fact that one of the greatest players in the history of world football will become a free agent next June. Not only that, but his club also lost more than $ 300 million during the last two seasons and he represents a significant portion of the salary bill, earning close to $ 80 million a year. He is also a Real Madrid legend, with a close link with the club (as the player himself mentioned in his publication on the networks) and who maintains a close relationship with Ancelotti.
This whole episode has generated two speculation matrices. The first is that there is a kind of grand design. Under this scenario, Ancelotti wants to specify the return of Cristiano (probably as an alternative to Kylian mbappe), Juventus realizes that perhaps it is better to receive some money now and significantly reduce the wage bill, instead of letting him leave in June for nothing. And Cristiano would not mind returning to the Santiago Bernabéu. But, as is obvious, the pandemic strongly affected everyone, the Portuguese did not exactly leave Madrid on good terms with President Florentino Pérez, Mbappé continues to be a target and therefore, we must proceed with care.
So, you make Edu float the idea, you pulse the reaction, you allow Ancelotti to deny everything (“wow, it was true at that time!”) And write an extensive post on Instagram in the form of a love letter to the madridistas without mention your current employer in Italy. Then you sit down to see what reactions you generate in Madrid and Turin. Perhaps there are enough clues to help make it happen. Maybe he and Mbappé (who plastered the walls of his room with posters of Cristiano when the Frenchman was just a child) can play together next season.
Andrés Agulla thinks that while the white team sells the idea of not having money to hire, in reality they are ready to make big hires.
Another element that strengthens this last theory is the source: Edu Aguirre. I don’t know him, but I do know that when a journalist is so close to a source, there is no point in betraying their trust so deliberately. That is why I am inclined to believe that he was reporting information that had been given to him, and what if Cristiano and Ancelotti are constantly talking on the phone? Well, I will risk saying that Edu knows the situation from Cristiano’s side. After all, it is Cristiano’s chocolate bar abdomen that appears next to Edu on his Instagram account. Not Ancelotti’s.
Could Edu have been sacrificed to float the idea? Well of course. It would make sense, although my instincts tell me otherwise. The many years that I have been covering this sport have taught me that, on many occasions, things are not as calculated as they seem and not always everything happens on purpose.
And that presents us to the second scenario. Anceotti and Ronaldo continue to text each other from time to time, Edu was overly enthusiastic about sharing the news, and Georgina and Ronaldo (or their social media teams) lack the skills to get their messages across more effectively.
Everything else is categorized as speculation, which is supposedly what bothers Ronaldo the most, and what his message on social networks should have silenced.