First of all: No, no way, not a chance.

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Let’s say why.

First of all, Ronaldo and Lionel Messi famously do not get on. There are few reports of any direct antipathy, but it is known that the two of them are in a direct competition to be considered the greatest player of all time.

It is probably why Ronaldo is willing to move on from Juventus already, to find one last Champions League trophy and another couple of league titles, just to bump up his roll call of honours.

Messi has four Champions Leagues and 10 league titles. He is also two years younger than Ronaldo, so has more scope to add some more silverware. Ronaldo has only seven league tiles, but five Champions League titles. Moving from Juventus while Lazio and Inter Milan are closing in, would make sense. And after all, if the two of them were together, at least it would be impossible for Messi to win any more trophies than Ronaldo if they were on the same team.

The two of them are rivals, and it is hard to see how the politically influential Messi would allow Ronaldo to take up some of the limelight at the Nou Camp. It is harder to see why Ronaldo would entertain such a thing.

Next, there’s the money. Ronaldo is apparently on £28 million a year. Messi earns the same or near enough. To enter those negotiations would be a nightmare, full of possibilities to offend one or both of the players, and an excellent way to run up the costs.

The costs more generally are also a problem. Barcelona have let Arthur join Ronaldo’s current club Juventus in order to raise a bit of cash. They have instituted swingeing wage cuts to negotiate the coronavirus crisis, and they have rarely been in a good place financially in the last 20 years. Add to that their hamfisted transfer policy and this is a club that can't afford to bring in Ronaldo. They can probably afford to bring in players only if they are able to sell others.

Lastly, it probably makes no sense on the pitch. While Barcelona and any team could handle having Ronaldo as an option, their best players are all in attack anyway. Messi, Ousmane Dembele, Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann, with Ansu Fati as well. The last thing their need is a 30-something to stand in the way of their youngsters and another ageing player to complement the rest of the superannuated lot. Adding a traditional number nine, albeit an exceptional one, is not what the squad needs. They need defenders and midfielders first before they consider anything else.

But could it happen?


But might it?


How could it happen?

First, the money. Let’s assume that Luis Suarez is open to a move to Inter Miami. That would take 15 million off the wage books, taking the club halfway there. At 33, he has started to wane and would probably soon welcome semi-retirement.

Next Dembele is sold to Manchester United for a decent wedge if they fail to land Jadon Sancho. Perhaps they even fork out £100 million for Ansu Fati. Maybe they find buyers for Samuel Umtiti and Ivan Rakitic, and replace them both with Jeff Hendrick and Phil Jones.

At that point, yes, they could afford to sign Ronaldo.

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