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The Astronomical Sums Behind China’s Attempt To Lure Cristiano Ronaldo

The exorbitant fees that the Chinese Super League has been willing to pay to land the world’s best look like peanuts compared to what one unnamed CSL club was willing to pay Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo to bring the Ballon d’Or winner to East Asia.

According to Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes, and as reported by The Guardian, the Portuguese star rejected a transfer offer that would’ve paid him over $105.5 million per year. According to Forbes, Cristiano Ronaldo had the largest salary of any athlete in the world in 2016 at $56m. The CSL club were willing to nearly double those monster earnings.

As for the transfer fee that would’ve been paid to Real Madrid, well that would’ve nearly tripled the record that Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba. The fee for Ronaldo would’ve been over $316,740,000. 

Ronaldo, however, confirmed his desire to stay at Real Madrid for perhaps the remainder of his career by signing an extension through 2021 in November. Ronaldo would be 36 years old at that time, although he’s outlined his desire to play into his 40s.


But Mendes has clarified his client’s view on the offer: “Money is not everything; the Spanish club is his life. The Chinese market is a new market. They can buy a lot of players, but then again it is impossible to go for Ronaldo. Cristiano is the best player in the world and best ever.

“It is normal to have some offers. He won the European Championship with Portugal, it’s like winning the Italian league with Genoa: they were not the favorite.”

Genoa C.F.C., nine-time winners of Serie A and Italy’s oldest football team, have yet to respond to the criticism.   

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