Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly told Real Madrid president Florentino Perez of his concerns over the club’s pursuit of AS Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe, who has been linked with a £161 million move to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Spanish outlet Diario Gol (h/t Jack Otway of the Daily Express) reported Ronaldo’s fears are entirely on the individual scale, saying he’s convinced Mbappe’s arrival would “hamper his chances of winning the Ballon d’Or further down the line.”
The Portugal captain already has four Ballon d’Or crowns to his name, but at 32 years of age, Ronaldo’s chances of adding to that figure and beating rival Lionel Messi’s tally of five will soon begin to run thin.
Otway also noted that Ronaldo holds concerns over his place in manager Zinedine Zidane’s XI with the prospect of Mbappe coming into the side, and football writer Sacha Pisani detailed how fine the margins currently are in Madrid:
Zidane has the pleasure of balancing arguably the most dangerous attack in world football thanks to the prolific BBC, made up of Ronaldo, the manager’s French compatriot Karim Benzema and Wales icon Gareth Bale.
That trinity of attackers played a large hand in pushing Real to a second successive UEFA Champions League trophy in 2017-18, but it remains difficult to see where Monaco whiz Mbappe would fit among the current crop.
Ronaldo’s alleged awareness of Mbappe is understandable given he’s in what’s usually perceived as the latter years of a player’s career while the Monaco wonderkid is basking in the limelight as one of the sport’s up-and-coming superstars.
It’s a spotlight Ronaldo once had as a teenager emerging from Sporting Lisbon and eventually Manchester United, although MailOnline recently showed evidence to suggest Mbappe could be amicable competition for a starting spot:
Otway suggested that may not be the case, however, as the 18-year-old “feels he is well-positioned to usurp” Ronaldo’s place and presumably become the new headline name at the Bernabeu.
Despite the magnitude of that challenge, it could be the case that Mbappe is ready for the pressure, too, considering he’s already rivalling Ronaldo as one of Europe’s most proficient scorers, per Statman Dave:
Earlier this week, Real captain Sergio Ramos also did his part to lure Mbappe and was quoted by Otway:
“It’s not a decision for me but Mbappe is a great prospect, there are not young players around like him. We have an important year ahead of us and already have excellent players.
“But it’s money which moves football and people can pay what they want.
“If he wants to come to Real Madrid the doors will be open.”
Ronaldo’s reluctance to welcome a player who could essentially be seen as his successor is understandable, but Los Blancos will also have an inevitable desire to ensure they secure the next wave of top footballing talent.
Real remain in the drivers’ seat to seal a switch for Mbappe as things stand, but convincing Ronaldo to approve of the move will be another task for Los Merengues in their bid to tie down both new talent and old.