Cristiano Ronaldo may be the most expensive superstar in the world, but he’ll have to get used to being just another player at Real Madrid.
That’s the opinion of Zinedine Zidane, Real’s former hero and the man set to become the club’s sporting director. Real’s $130 million signing was the main attraction at Manchester United – but Zidane claims Ronaldo should leave any hint of an inflated ego at Old Trafford.
Zidane said: ‘Despite the vast amount of money involved in his transfer to Real Madrid, Ronaldo will have to come to terms with being just another star at the club.’
With the arrival of Kaka and more expected to follow under returning president Florentino Perez, he cannot expect to take centre stage at a club like Real Madrid.
‘Besides, while the supporters love to embrace superstar players, collective success is far more important to them than that of any individual.’
Sources in Spain claim Madrid still covet Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard. But given their spending already, would he be a Galactico too far? Real are also interested in signing David Villa from Valencia.
Zidane believes Real’s collecting of superstars will help alleviate the enormous and impending pressure on Ronaldo.
Zidane, who led France to World Cup and European Championship glory and won the Champions League with Real, added:
Zidane has no fears about Ronaldo handling life in the spotlight.
‘Ronaldo is a player made to play for Real Madrid,’ he said. ‘His confidence on the ball, speed and eye for goal will light up Spanish football.
Zidane was bought by Real for a then world record fee of $61m in 2001 so he knows all about this situation.
Ronaldo, 24, is guaranteed a 10 per cent annual pay rise on his starting salary of $300,000 a week, as well as huge signing-on fees and bonuses.
Meanwhile, Chelsea will reportedly battle Manchester City for Carlos Tevez’s services if the Argentina striker decides to leave Old Trafford this summer.
Bayern Munich playmaker Franck Ribery was widely believed to be new Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti’s number one transfer target – but the Frenchman has been tipped to join big-spending Real Madrid.