CRISTIANO Ronaldo is now the most expensive football player in the world. The 24-year-old striker will be paid 13 million euros per season following his move to Real Madrid. And that’s not counting the money he will make through advertisements, sponsorships, and a share of merchandise sales.
That’s Real-ly a lot of money.
There is no doubt that Ronaldo is extremely gifted and can mesmerise all of us, on or off the pitch, but is he worth that much?
Why is a striker worth more than a goalkeeper? After all, the game’s result can be determined as much by the goals scored or the goals prevented. And what about the other nine people in the same team on the pitch?
The legendary Pele has urged Fifa to introduce a salary cap for players and warned that the vast sums of money changing hands in the game could taint its image for future generations.
“You get a player today that they announce in Manchester United, Real Madrid or Milan or any other team, and they kiss their shirt,” he was quoted in a news report.
“The next day, he goes to another team and he kisses that shirt. This, I think, is something we have to pay attention to for the next generation.”
This is the harsh reality of today’s world, be it in the world of sports, or in the corporate world.
We are always told that in a company, we are all part of the same team, and that everyone is an essential cog in the organisational wheel.
Still, within the same company, some people can earn more in a day than what the lowest paid worker gets in a month.
It is very hard to define what an honest day’s wage for an honest day’s work mean these days.
After all, it is very much a fact of life that some people can and do command astronomical incomes in certain positions.
From sports stars to celebrities and corporate high-flyers, the sky is literally the limit when it comes to making money.
Watching the Michael Jackson memorial service on TV, I am reminded about how much he was worshipped by the world because of his amazing musical talent.
His financial fortune had its ups and downs, but we were reminded that he was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the entertainer who contributed to the most number of charities.
It is good that he gave away money while he was still alive because like all of us, he certainly cannot take away even a single cent upon death.
For most of us, the memory of Michael will not last forever. Only his immediate family and truly close friends will feel the pain of loss for a longer time.
For Manchester United fans, Ronaldo will soon be a fading icon now that he has kissed the No. 9 Real Madrid shirt, as Pele puts it.
So whether you earn 13 million euros like Ronaldo or RM600 as an Indonesian maid, the reality of life and death is still the same.