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Fans, Press Say Real Needs Ronaldo
Associated Press, January 15th, 2013 12:25PM
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Real Madrid might be ready to dispense with combative head coach Jose Mourinho, but the Spanish giant better do everything it can to hold onto star player Cristiano Ronaldo. At least, that was the message from the Spanish media following Real’s humiliating 0-0 draw against bottom club Osasuna on Saturday. With Ronaldo serving a one-game suspension, Los Blancos only managed a single shot on goal, and looked completely out of ideas in attack.

Polls at Madrid-based papers La Marca and ASshow that more than 70 percent of Real fans think President Florentino Perez should renew Ronaldo’s deal as soon as possible. Ronaldo, however, is still being unclear about his future. "I want to see out my contract at Real Madrid. I'm very clear about that," the Portuguese told FIFA.com. "After that, well, I don't know what will happen in the future."

A lot could happen between now and his contract’s expiration in June 2015. For starters, changes to tax laws in Spain mean that increasing Ronaldo’s pay to $20 million per year (he currently makes $16 million) would actually cost Real some $40 million, a figure that Perez might not want to pay. If that’s the case, Perez might want to sell Ronaldo this summer -- whether he wants to stay or not -- while he still commands a massive fee. Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are hovering; reports say they would make the 27-year-old the highest-paid player in the world.

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