The fallout associated with COVID-19 in Spain has already begun. Proof has shown there’s a power struggle between multiple football organizations throughout the Spanish territories, which follows after partnerships amongst these associations were already strained. Analysts in the Spanish Soccer Community predicted that these unprecedented events would prompt businesses to become stronger. Those predictions were incorrect, with relationships becoming more strained. The Spanish Soccer Federation, Spanish Players Union and Spanish Soccer League are now at odds with each other. The fallout from these strained relationships could see a broken football league in Spain.
Relationships amongst these three associations worsened after the Spanish Soccer Federation claimed that the Union had a secretive agenda. The SSF believed that the Union was comprising a plan that’d see a significant percentage of the Federation’s reserve funds taken as “Relief Aid”. This prompted the Player’s Union to respond and state that conversations of this nature hadn’t ever existed. Leaked phone conversations amongst Federation executives proved that the Union didn’t have a hidden agenda. These executives told representatives to make falsified stories on the Union to benefit their position.
This substantial clash started when the Spanish Government forced a specialized commission, which would govern the three bodies and ensure their willingness to comply. The Federation was the previous body that ruled over the Union and Spanish Soccer League, which could’ve been the reason behind their falsified claims. Executives in the Spanish Soccer Federation would do anything required to ensure that reserve funds are protected.
Football analysts anticipate that the Player’s Union will immediately go on strike after the COVID-19 pandemic has concluded in Spain. These players ultimately hold power over the Federation and League, with their demands inevitably having to be met or profits will continue to be lost. It should be noted that this isn’t the 1st time that the Spanish Soccer Federation threw their players under the bus. Similar measures unfolded when the SARS Outbreak unfolded worldwide.
The Spanish Government has the capabilities to fine the Football Federation, who ultimately were willing to risk the safety and lives of players for finances. This business tactic has become taboo throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and could see the SSF face significant backlash when infection rates slow down.
After winning the 3rd straight Champions League finale, and 4th in five years, Real Madrid’s best player Cristiano Ronaldo stated, “It was very nice to be in Madrid. In the next few days, I will give an answer to the fans who have always been by my side.” This set off a firestorm in the soccer media, as it hinted that the five time Ballon d’Or winner may leave Real in the summer. It has been rumored, and not for the first time, that the superstar will return to his old club in Manchester United where he became a star.
Manchester United is the rumor and there are other ones as well, but will Cristiano Ronaldo leave Real Madrid? It seems pretty unlikely. Man U can pay Ronaldo, but his transfer fee would likely be the biggest of all time. He is 33 years old and makes $50 million per year and is signed until 2021. There have been reports that Ronaldo has had issues with the tax authorities of Spain. On top of that even with all of his records and accolades the fans of Real have never really taken him with open arms, as their best player of all time.
If chasing records is Ronaldo’s goal he should stay at Real Madrid. Bookmakers already have Real as the odds-on favorite to win the Champions League next season. Real Madrid’s “Paco” Gento won six medals in the 1950’s and 60’s and AC Milan’s and Paolo Maldini and Billy Costacurta each have five. On top of that Ronaldo is tied with long-time nemesis and Barcelona great Lionel Messi with five Ballon d’Or trophies. While he would obviously help many clubs his best chance for more trophies in his stacked cabinet has to be with Real Madrid.
Where Would He Go?
While Manchester United is the club that is most often talked about when taking on Ronaldo are other clubs on the radar? PSG have been big spenders in the last few years, but they have striker Neymar under contract for HUGE dollars, so Paris is unlikely. Chelsea and Arsenal have the means, but they will likely not take on an aging star for the amount of money he would command. China is also a possibility, but even at 33 Ronaldo is still in his prime and while he would make a ton of money there, trophies and major individual awards would not be in the cards. He does not fit in the team-game mode of Bayern Munich and his style does not mesh with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
Fellow Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who scored in the Champions League finale, said after the match, “Where will Cristiano go? He stays with us, we need Cristiano.” When Ronaldo’s comments after the match were relayed to Real manager Zinedine Zidane he said the Portuguese superstar is “indispensable” to Madrid. There will be a lot of talk this summer with the possible move of the best player in the world, but it would be pretty shocking if he were not in the Spanish capital next season.