Cristiano Ronaldo may not be in an ideal situation with his current club Real Madrid, but the superstar scorer is wisely continuing to live up to his massive contract with brilliant play on the pitch.
That display of professionalism will only continue driving up his seemingly limitless price tag and likely force the team to ship him out of town.
Here is why: Sid Lowe of The Guardian reports that Ronaldo's deal doesn't expire until the beginning of July 2015, but Ronaldo refuses to commit to an extension. Instead, he prefers to wait until at least next summer to eliminate the expensiveness of a transfer fee and sweetening his individual offer.
Rather than letting the displeasure he has with the Real Madrid brass carry over to his football, Ronaldo is doing quite the opposite. In fact, he reached 200 career goals for the Spanish outfit in their recent La Liga win over Malaga.
ESPN's Paul Carr highlights how incredible Ronaldo's scoring rate has been throughout his storied career:
Paul Carr @PCarrESPN
Cristiano Ronaldo's 1.02 goals/game is the best rate of the 6 players w/ 200 for Real Madrid. Puskás next at 0.93.2013-5-8 20:07:17
As Ronaldo continues to display his prowess in terms of production, though, his relationship with manager Jose Mourinho seems to only be getting worse. According to Pete Jenson of The Daily Mail, when Ronaldo notched his 200th goal, he appeared to hurl an expletive toward Mourinho's direction on the bench.
Mourinho had a minimal, phlegmatic reaction to the apparent outburst, but it doesn't do anything to dismiss assertions that Ronaldo is discontent with how the relationship is unfolding.
There really is nothing to lose for Ronaldo in this situation because Mourinho is rumored to be returning to the English Premier League in charge of Chelsea next season. Ironically, Ronaldo may be slated to face him in league competition.
Apparently, a return to Manchester United may be in the cards for Ronaldo. CEO David Gill is discussing with Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes, the possibility of bringing the 28-year-old phenom back to play for the Red Devils.
Such a development would indubitably be lauded by the United faithful and would make Ronaldo happier than he is in his current situation—even with the Red Devils in transition to new manager David Moyes.
Whispers of a return to Manchester United have persisted for Ronaldo in light of his lack of public support for Real Madrid.
Ronaldo's time with Mourinho is a stark contrast to the strong bond he formed with recently retired Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who was prolific for winning not only matches but the respect of his many star players.
Ronaldo took to Twitter to express his gratefulness for what Ferguson did for him in his time at Old Trafford:
Cristiano Ronaldo @Cristiano
Thanks for everything, Boss. http://t.co/WfU1h2Prhb2013-5-8 11:12:01
Whatever happens to Ronaldo moving forward, his continual exceptional play and honoring of his contract is only going to help.
As long as he remains non-committal until he figures out how the environment of the Real Madrid organization will change under new management, Ronaldo is in a position of great strength in terms of leverage in negotiations.
The Manchester United club that sold him for a world-record £80 million in 2009 may be who ultimately reaps the benefits.