Cristiano Ronaldo said on Tuesday his sadness had nothing to do with money as the Real Madrid forward looked to head off media speculation he simply wanted a more lucrative deal.
The world’s most expensive player hit the headlines after Sunday’s 3-0 La Liga win over Granada when he failed to celebrate his two goals and told reporters he was “sad” for “professional” reasons and that the club knew why.
“That I am feeling sad and have expressed this sadness has created a huge stir,” the 27-year-old Portugal forward said via his Twitter account. “I am accused of wanting more money, but one day it will be shown that this is not the case.”
Local newspapers and radio stations have been full of speculation about the reasons for Ronaldo’s outburst.
He was reported to have had a meeting with club president Florentino Perez on Saturday and said he did not feel he had the support of the dressing room, was unhappy and wanted to leave.
Ronaldo rejected the idea he was downcast at losing out to Barcelona’s Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta for the Best Player in Europe award on Thursday last week.
There were also suggestions the former Manchester United winger, one of the world’s best-paid players, earning about 11 million euros (US$13.82 million) a year, was seeking an improved contract.
“I just want to guarantee to the Real Madrid fans that my motivation, dedication, commitment and desire to win all competitions will not be affected,” he said. “I have too much respect for myself and for Real Madrid to ever give less to the club than all I am capable of.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Ronaldo’s teammate, Alvaro Arbeloa, said the squad had no idea their leading scorer was unhappy.
“I don’t know what’s up with Cristiano. It was a surprise for us as much as for you. We found out after the game,” the fullback told reporters as he joined up with the Spain squad. “At Madrid, we are a family and we will support him in any way he needs, just as we would do with Mesut Ozil, Michael Essien or whoever.”
“It’s true that Cristiano, like most of us, doesn’t have the problems that many Spaniards have, but he will have his reasons for not being at his best and this is reasonable,” he said. “I have never heard him talk about money, a longer deal, or wanting to go. I think he’ll be here for many years.”
“There has been too much made of his words. Maybe he needs more affection from everyone — I don’t know, but if that is it, he will receive it from us,” he said.