In this week’s Weekly Podium, Cristiano Ronaldo takes the gold (literally), while Valencia receive the brick award after suffering their third straight loss in La Liga. Eric Krakauer takes a snapshot of the best and worst in European football.
In just over a week, Real Madrid have put an end to two of the summer’s biggest sagas. Gareth Bale finally made his move to the Bernabeu for a disputed amount that may or may not have set a new transfer record, and Cristiano Ronaldo put pen to paper to extend his stay with Los Merengues until 2018, making him the best paid player in the world.
Both were major coups, but keeping the Portuguese star in white for the foreseeable future has been Florentino Perez’ biggest move, allowing all Madridistas breathe a sigh of relief.
While the relationship between Perez and Ronaldo has never been the warmest, there is little doubt that the president intends to continue to build his team around the mercurial forward.
And why not?
Since arriving in Madrid, Ronaldo has helped Real win one La Liga title, one Copa d’el Rey, and one Supercopa, all the while scoring a remarkable 204 goals in 203 games. It must also be noted that in that time Real Madrid has also managed to slow down Barcelona’s domestic dominance.
The only thing missing in the trophy cabinet is the long awaited “decima” – the tenth Champions League trophy – which is now the club’s top priority.
Chances are that a happy Ronaldo will greatly increase the chances that Perez will get his hands on the elusive trophy. Last season, a sad Ronaldo managed to score a whopping 55 goals in 55 games.