Football: could Olympique de Marseille really afford Cristiano Ronaldo? – Ouest-France evening edition


Cristiano Ronaldo at Olympique de Marseille? On social networks, Internet users are talking about the possibility of the Portuguese football star coming to OM. Despite the denial of the Marseille club, the Marseille community still dreams of hosting the fivefold Ballon d’Or. But could the team afford it?

It’s a dream that Marseille supporters hardly dare to imagine. Imagine resuscitating one of the greatest duels in the history of football between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but this time in Ligue 1. And no longer in the Spanish league, when the Argentinian played at FC Barcelona and the Portuguese at Real Madrid. On paper, the idea is attractive, even if the two stars are aging. Messi arrived at PSG a year ago. All that’s missing is the Portuguese in Marseille. Rapper Jul, a figure from Marseille, let himself be carried away by this hope by posting on the social network Twitter a photomontage of Cristiano Ronaldo with the OM jersey. And for the past few weeks, the Marseille community has been dreaming of the arrival of the greatest scorer in the history of football on the Canebière. The club has however denied any contact with Ronaldo, according to Florent Germain, journalist at RMC Sport. This did not prevent the rumor from swelling, especially on Twitter with the hashtag #RonaldOM. The arrival of the player seems totally improbable, but what if it were to materialize? Could OM have the means to afford one of the biggest football stars?

To play the Champions League, yes

In fact, OM have a very important asset in the eyes of the Lusitano: the club will play in the Champions League this season, unlike its current club Manchester United (England), qualified for the Europa League. Ronaldo, the competition’s top scorer with 140 goals, has played in the Champions League since the 2003-2004 season. He could also be tempted to discover a new championship, having passed through Portugal, England, Spain and Italy.

For Frank McCourt, the American owner of OM, this would be a great opportunity to strike a blow: to place his club in the center of attention by attracting Ronaldo. And becoming the main rival of PSG in Ligue 1.

But what the Portuguese star wants is to lift trophies. Even if it will be complicated at Manchester United, it is not absurd to think that the Red Devils could, for example, win the Europa League this season, or one of the two cups in England. With OM, it may be much more difficult to win a title.

Financially, it will be necessary to take out the checkbook

Money, the sinews of war, is undoubtedly the most determining element. To bring the Portuguese to OM, the leaders will have to take out the checkbook. According to the specialized site Transfermarkt, the market value of Ronaldo, who will be out of contract in June 2023, is estimated at 30 million euros as of June 15, 2022. The International Center for Sports Studies (CIES) estimates, from its side, the value of the player between 10 and 15 million euros.

A sum well within the limits of a club like OM, which will however have to pay the player’s salary. And there, that’s another story. According to several sources, Cristiano Ronaldo makes more than 30 million euros gross per year in the north of England.

At OM, according to the count made every year by our colleagues from the newspaper The Team , the highest paid player, in this case the Congolese Cédric Bakambu, receives around 5 million euros gross per year. Far, very far from Ronaldo’s salary… The latter has already proven that money is not his main driving force, agreeing to sign in 2018 at Juventus in Turin for a salary lower than that which he received at Real Madrid. But would he be ready to divide his salary by three or four? Another pebble in OM’s shoe to conclude such an operation: the club is in the sights of UEFA on the subject of financial fair play, which requires clubs not to spend more than they earn. The dream is therefore still very far from becoming a reality.



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