It will cost potential suitors a staggering €1 billion to lure Cristiano Ronaldo away from Real Madrid, it has been revealed.
La Liga officials have long claimed that Spanish employment law forces clubs to attach a buy-out clause to each player’s contract, but these numbers were largely thought to be hypothetical maximums. That is, at least, until Neymar’s €222 million transfer from Barcelona to Paris-St Germain this summer, in which the French cash kings lodged the full amount as a deposit with the league after the Blaugrana attempted to block the move at every turn.
As a result of such ludicrous figures now changing hands, the buy-out clauses of some of La Liga’s top stars have come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks. And, according to the Portuguese star’s contract with Real, Ronaldo is the joint-most valuable player in the world, with his buy-out – and surprisingly, that of teammate Karim Benzema – standing at a stunning €1 billion.
Lionel Messi, by comparison, has a relatively paltry buy-out clause standing at €300 million, with nine La Liga players deemed hypothetically more valuable than him. Of course, a large part of the figure being relatively “low” is Barcelona’s trust in their star man not to leave the club he so deeply cherishes.
While it would seem one billion euros should be enough to deter potential poachers, the past year has shown us crazy things do happen in football, and no amount of money for the signature of Cristiano Ronaldo can now be considered pure fantasy.