If the Portuguese is simply after more cash, he should remember there are people in Spain with a real grievance
Sadness is no laughing matter but sympathy has nevertheless been in short supply since Cristiano Ronaldo revealed that he is unhappy at Real Madrid.
The Portuguese winger did, indeed, use the word 'sad' and that has not gone down well in Spain, especially outside Madrid, with the country in the midst of a recession with 4.6m people claiming unemployment benefits every month. The former Barcelona manager, Charly Rexach, did not hold back in his assessment of the Portuguese's comments, delivered on Sunday night, after he had scored twice in the win against Granada.
"If Cristiano is sad, people should go into the streets and cry," Rexach said. "Ronaldo can't ask for more from life. He's a top player, he has everything. He is physically fit, well-built, has money, success, is one of the best players in the world. I don't know what else he wants, so for him to be sad is sacrilege."
In Spain his comments have been scrutinised and analysed, as one would expect, and a few different theories have emerged.
1) Ronaldo does not think that he earns enough money and wants a pay rise.
2) He is unhappy that Andrés Iniesta was named Uefa's player of the year on Friday.
3) He feels undervalued at Real Madrid by the club and his team-mates.
Or perhaps he loves himself so much there is no room to feel it from anyone else.
Alvaro Arbeloa, meanwhile, has defended his Real team-mate, as he would, saying that the Portuguese is just in need of a little love. "He just needs more affection from everybody, I don't know, that's all we can give him," said the former Liverpool full-back, making it all seem so easy. "Everybody has the right to be sad, he's a person just like anyone else. He doesn't share the problems of most Spanish people but it's perfectly reasonable that he can be sad."
Arbeloa has a point, of course. Why shouldn't Cristiano Ronaldo be allowed to be sad? Anyone can be sad, rich or poor, famous or not. But when Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes, then says that he knows the reasons CR7 is unhappy and that he is "perfectly comfortable" with them, then one starts to suspect that this is about money.
If Ronaldo really had wanted to leave Real Madrid, he would have expressed his "sadness" a few weeks earlier in order to be able to force a move somewhere else, although even Manchester City and Paris St-Germain are unlikely to be able to afford him if the reports of a £500m buy-out clause are true.
True, the French window does not shut until Wednesday night and the Turkish one not until Thursday night while the Russians and Zenit St Petersburg, in particular, seem to have spent all their money on Hulk and Axel Witsel, but why would the Portuguese want to leave for any of those leagues?
In addition he is unlikely to want to join PSG now – if it is unconditional love he is after –as on Tuesday the French club's sporting director, Leonardo, said: "Ibrahimovic is the best striker in the world. So why hire Ronaldo? Zlatan is unique. When we talk about the best players, there is Ronaldo and Messi – but they are not strikers. The best striker, that's Zlatan."
Messi, of course, was asked about it in Argentina before his country's game against Paraguay but he had no words of comfort, saying: "I don't have to answer this kind of questions. You shouldn't ask me about Cristiano. It has nothing to do with me and I shouldn't be answering questions about it."
Ronaldo, meanwhile, is now with the Portuguese squad for the games against Luxembourg on Friday and Azerbaijan next Tuesday. When he arrived at the team's training base at Obidos he muttered: "I am not going to say anything" but then a message filtered through to the media, saying: "Every problem has a solution."
So expect Cristiano Ronaldo to sort out his problems with Real Madrid and be happy again. The problem is that, if it turns out to have been a question of money, he will lose the respect of a significant portion of football fans around the world – and he was not exactly ahead of Messi anyway – because at the end of the day, if Ronaldo feels undervalued at Real, he may have a reason to be 'sad' but, if he is only after more money, then his comments are an insult to those who have a proper reason to be upset.