The rumor that Cristiano Ronaldo could one day play in the MLS is not a new one, but the reports that began circulating last week had a little more substance behind them. Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes, when asked what the future held for his client once his current deal was up at Real Madrid, replied saying, "maybe he will go to the USA, God will decide." Far from concrete evidence of an impending move but interesting that Mendes only mentioned America, and no other potential destination for Ronaldo, when he could easily have not answered the question at all.
The likes of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Kaka and David Villa have all recently made the move to the ever-growing MLS, but Cristiano Ronaldo would represent a major step-up even from those huge names of world soccer. Ronaldo signed a five-year deal at Real in September 2013, worth $206 million, which will keep him at the club until the summer of 2018, which is when any potential move to the MLS is most likely to take place.
Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or in January, the third time he has picked up the award. He was also the second highest paid athlete in the world in 2014, behind only Floyd Mayweather, earning a reported $80 million for the calendar year. Ronaldo began his career at Sporting Lisbon before being signed by Manchester United in 2003, where he established himself as one of the best players in world soccer. In 2009 he became the most expensive player in the sports history following a $132 million move to Real Madrid where he has continued his meteoric rise through the game.
Here are the top 10 reasons why Ronaldo should join the MLS in 2018.
10 10. Untouchable on the national team
9 9. Potential to buy his own team
8 8. Set a precedent
7 7. MLS will be stronger by 2018
6 6. Further MLS Credibility
5 5. Best player to ever play in the MLS
4 4. Lifestyle
3 3. MLS worldwide exposure
2 2. He's Won Everything In Europe
1 1. Expand his own brand
Much like David Beckham, Ronaldo is not just a soccer player. He is a brand, an image if you like. Ronaldo's brand is called 'CR7', they sell underwear, socks, shirts, football boots, sporting wear and various accessories. He also has major endorsement deals with Nike, Coca-Cola, Castrol, Konami, Fly Emirates, Samsong and many others. Cristiano Ronaldo is a worldwide superstar, both on and off the pitch. The one market in which it could be argued he has not yet fully capitalized upon is the North American one. Once more, much like David Beckham back in 2007, a move to the MLS would represent a huge opportunity for Ronaldo to expand his brand in the only region there is left for him to conquer.
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