Report: Cristiano Ronaldo to Re-Sign With Real Madrid, Earn More Than Lionel Messi

Mesut Ozil, Cristiano RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo has reportedly settled his differences with Florentino Perez and agreed to sign a contract extension with Real Madrid.

The Portuguese soccer superstar had been reluctant to re-sign with the Spanish soccer giant after he clashed with club president Perez in 2012. But he will soon ink a new contract, which will run for five years and make him the highest-paid player in Spain, according to Marca.

“Cristiano Ronaldo has renewed his contract and will be staying at Real Madrid till 2018,” the report says. “This renewal makes Ronaldo the highest-paid player in Spanish football, with a salary of €17 million [$22.5 million] net for each of the next five seasons, which is one million more than [LionelMessi gets.

“Until now, Ronaldo owned 60 percent of his image rights, the other 40 percent going to Real Madrid. But now he will increase that percentage, although the club is also reserving the right to guarantee itself some kind of economic return on the investment, with the income generated by Cristiano Ronaldo’s publicity deals.

“For Cristiano, renewing his contract was never going to be just about money, but also about affection. Feeling loved. Now he feels protected by the president, by the club, by his teammates and by the fans. The Santiago Bernabéu idolizes him and Ronaldo has become ensconced as the unchallenged leader of the team.”

Ronaldo’s new contract should cool the rampant speculation about his future. His previous deal expired in 2015, and it was thought that Real Madrid would sell him this summer if he refused to extend his stay in the Spanish capital. Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain were rumored to be preparing transfer offers in the event Ronaldo’s contract negotiations ground to a halt.

Real Madrid fans will certainly welcome the news that a player who has scored an astonishing 202 goals in 199 games has decided to continue his legendary exploits at the Bernabeu, but the new contract won’t guarantee that he stays forever, as headlines suggest. The contract protects his transfer value in the event an interested club steps makes a formal transfer offer. Under his old contract, his transfer value would start to decline after this summer, as it headed for its final year. Instead, his new deal forces a buying club to meet Real Madrid’s valuation of Ronaldo if it decides to part ways with him.

Neither Ronaldo nor Real Madrid have commented on the contract negotiations, but the Mail reports Ronaldo gave a cryptic response when asked about his future at a recent press conference.

“The situation still hasn’t been resolved and I don’t think now is the right time to talk about it,” he said. “Perhaps we’ll be able to give more concrete news about this further down the line but now the only thing in my remit is to train and work.”

If the Marca report is true, Ronaldo will become the second highest-paid soccer player in the world (behind Anzhi Makhachkala striker Samuel Eto’o). He could take consolation in the fact that he’ll earn more than his rival Messi, who signed a new contract in February.

Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer or @mkomard, his Facebook page or NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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