R The president of eal Madrid, Florentino Pérez, said that we had heard it all before, but not quite so. Sergio Ramos did not even win the European Cup, the third time in a row, when Cristiano Ronaldo referred to it in the past. "It was nice to be in Madrid," he said, standing at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev. Was ? "In a few days, I will give an answer to the fans because they have always been at my side." And so a historical moment changed. The night had another story.
A few minutes earlier, Ronaldo and a goal in the final had pitched a Pitch Invader that might have helped to bring some of the mood to the surface, but that was how he later brewed, "If you hold on tight and hold on, if you have a heart and are honest, you sometimes lose control. " The emphasis on "having" as he stood on the pitch showed that fans supported him, others did not. This desire for affection was reflected in the remark made by Sergio Ramos shortly thereafter. Literally translated, "Cris loves to love oneself" and implies a desire, a need, a call for attention, appreciation.
Back in Madrid, at the statue of Cibeles, where they celebrate titles. He understood that. There were songs from "Ronaldo, stay!" But while the fans' relationship with him was not always perfect, Ronaldo thought, when it came to those whose support he had missed, mainly to Pérez, and it was Pérez who answered. "Now is not the time for individual problems, the club is more important than anyone else," he said.
What came next was even more pointed. "I'm glad he has five European Cups, like me." And then he said, "You hear the same thing every summer, and then nothing happens." They did not expect to hear it in the middle of the celebration. They did not expect to hear anything similar from Gareth Bale, even though that felt different, Zinedine Zidane said, "I understand him."
Ronaldo had just won his fourth European Cup with Real Madrid, his fifth overall. This is your fourth in five years. Luka Modric likened it to the Bulls, the Lakers and the Celtics, basketball teams that founded a dynasty. "Now you can call a dynasty."
Marcelo called it a "special night", but now he had to ask several questions. They were all. At the post-match press conference, Zidane shrugged, "What can I say, I can not change what he said, but now it's important to enjoy the moment."
By the time Ronaldo reappeared, it was already past one o'clock in the morning and this message had been clearly conveyed to him. "The timing was not ideal," he admitted. He insisted that he did not want to weaken the moment for his teammates, "the real masters here," and the remorse seemed genuine. But he did not back off.
"Do you have something important to say?" Was he asked. He replied, "Yes, of course, I will not hide that, maybe it was not the time to say something, to get something off my chest, and I do not want to just throw away the credit that Madrid earns, because that's something But I will not hide, I have a week now to be calm, then I will join the national team on June 4th and I will say something, it was not the right moment and I did not want to say that [then] but if you are honest and have a heart, it will be fine. "
Something like this has happened before, and that's what Perez was all about. He did not sign Ronaldo but inherited a completed deal and the relationship was not always good. Ronaldo has publicly said he was "sad" that he felt alone in the dispute with the Spanish tax authorities on the Fifa galas during the legal dispute, and there were difficulties with contract renewals. One theory is that the persecution of Neymar did not help, just as Pérez once told Ronaldo that he could go if he brought them money to sign Messi.
Before Ronaldo last extended his contract, the negotiations had often appeared at the breaking point. A year ago, A Bola, a Portuguese sports newspaper, claimed that he wanted to leave. Ronaldo never denied it, but almost three months later he reminded people that the words were not really his. These words were. "I can not guarantee that I will be in Madrid next season." He insisted it was not about money or jealousy. "I have five Champions leagues, five Balloons d 'Ors, I was top scorer for six consecutive years, who will I be jealous of?"
Madrid knows how important he is – or the players anyway, and also Zidane – but at some point the club knows that they have to face an era after Cristiano Ronaldo. His position also has consequences for Bale; The departure of one can help to prevent the departure of the other. The question of when a new era begins is when and how. Ronaldo is 33 and Pérez is not averse to starting now, but Ronaldo has been accelerating since he was 30 and is becoming more effective than ever.
"I know what I give the club," insisted Ronaldo. Others, he feels, may not,
There is still a long way to go, even if he makes an announcement in the next few days, as promised, and even if it shows a determination to leave, with everything that implies. Or when he announces a change of heart, an approach. It could be that nothing happens, just as Pérez claimed, but that can not be quite as it is at other times; we have not heard that yet.
"Where would you be better off than here?" Ronaldo was asked. "Difficult," he said. "It's the best club in the world, but life is not all about fame."
No, but the moment should be. It was almost 3 o'clock in the morning when Ramos left the stadium. He shot past journalists waiting for a word – the finale, the story, Mohamed Salah, Bale's goal, now, of course, Ronaldo. He hurried past, grinning, winking and nodding at the huge trophy he held in his hands, as if to say it all mattered. And on Saturday evening in Kiev it should have been.