Oh noes! Ronaldo is "sad," and no one knows why. Not his teammates, not his bosses, and surely not the media, who have speculated that it could be anything from dissatisfaction with his contract to missing out on Player of the Year award to rifts in the locker room to the anniversary of his father's death. But, real talk (Real talk?), it's probably about the money.
Ronaldo scored a pair on Sunday against Granada, and was notably muted in celebration. Afterwards, he briefly addressed reporters.
"I do not celebrate my goals when I am sad. I am sad due to a professional issue that the club knows about. That is why I was not celebrating. I am not happy, the people here know why. I am not going to talk more about this, there are more important things."
There are, of course, no more important things in Madrid than Ronaldo's happiness, but what can they do if they don't know what ails him? Ronaldo reportedly refused to get into specifics in a meeting with club president Florentino Perez on Saturday. He would only tell the media that his sadness isn't about being passed over for European Player of the Year for Andres Iniesta. (He wouldn't comment on his teammate Marcelo saying Iker Casillas, not Ronaldo, should have won the Ballon D'Or, but it's been reported that Ronaldo and Marcelo are no longer on speaking terms.)
It is most likely the cash. Ronaldo makes upwards of $16 million a year, good money but still only good for fourth most in the world. He used to keep a lot more of it: under the "Beckham Law," highly-paid foreign workers in Spain were taxed at around 24 percent. With the abolition of that law, Ronaldo loses more than 40 percent of his earnings to taxes.
There's not a ton of sympathy for Ronaldo, as Spain's economy continues to tank. ("If Cristiano is sad, people should go into the streets and cry," a former Barcelona coach scoffed.) And there's a Qatari billionaire in Paris and a Russian oil tycoon in Dagestan that would love to have him. But there's the little matter of Ronaldo' €1 billion buyout clause that runs through 2015. With no offers currently on the table, either Real will offer up a nice raise for no good reason, or Ronaldo will have to learn to deal with his crippling depression.