Cristiano Ronaldo’s ambition to become the world’s best paid footballer is causing a growing rift with Real Madrid that has alerted Europe’s big-spending clubs.
By BOB CASS
Russian-owned Chelsea, along with Arab-backed Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, head the list of interested parties as the 27-year-old agitates for a huge pay rise to bring him into line with high earner Samuel Eto’o.
Ronaldo’s salary at Real sees him 10th in the high earners’ list at £7.98million net, around half what Eto’o earns at rich Russian club Anzhi.
His immediate target is a 50 per cent increase to around £11.8million net.
But the issue is complicated by Ronaldo’s dissatisfaction at his image rights – 50 per cent of which are owned by the club – and Spain’s revised tax laws.
Ronaldo earns £13.45million from off-pitch deals.
That means he is effectively paying his own wages at the Bernabeu.
‘I’m sad because of a professional issue and the club know why,’ Ronaldo said this month.
Ronaldo is governed by ‘Beckham’s Law’, the regulation which stipulates Real must pay 24 per cent tax.
But with Spain’s economy in turmoil, that figure has been increased to 52 per cent.
Bidding for Ronaldo would start at the £80million Real paid Manchester United for him in 2009.
TOP 10 BEST PAID PLAYERS IN THE WORLD
1 S Eto’o (Anzhi) £15.91m
2 Z Ibrahimovic (PSG) £11.54m
3 W Rooney (Man Utd) £10.98m
4 Y Toure (Man City) £10.34m
5 S Aguero (Man City) £9.95m
6 D Drogba (Shanghai) £9.55m
7 F Torres (Chelsea) £8.6m
8 D Conca (Guangzhou) £8.4m
9 L Messi (Barcelona) £8.35m
10 C Ronaldo (R Madrid) £7.98m