Real Madrid won the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday, but they’ll have to play Wednesday’s return fixture without Cristiano Ronaldo. After being shown his second yellow card—this time for diving—he was sent off.
In his anger, he shoved the referee who booked him. On Monday, the Spanish Football Federation added to his ban, and his automatic one-game suspension became five.
Ronaldo’s first yellow came after he put Madrid ahead with a roaring strike from just inside the box, beating Gerard Piqué and then Marc-André ter Stegen after Isco found him streaking up the wing. Just as Lionel Messi did at the Bernabeu a year before, Ronaldo ripped off his shirt, sprinted to the sideline, and held it high for the Camp Nou fans to see. His celebration was cocksure, but harmless. Shoving an official, however, is self-destructive, and if one Redditor is to be believed, it could be his last act as a member of Real Madrid.
Every year, people suggest Ronaldo could be on the move, and every year, nothing comes of it. Stars pop up in transfer rumors all the time, and it’s rare that any of them come to fruition. But we’re living in a post-Neymar-to-PSG world. The idea of off-limits players no longer exists. Anyone is for sale, and everyone has a price. Naturally, this has led to some wild speculative transfers.
Last week, Redditor MartelCB suggested a move to Monaco might be in the cards for Ronaldo. A web of conspiracies, backroom pacts, and handshake agreements would send Cristiano to Ligue 1 in a deal that would send coveted Monaco 18-year-old Kylian Mbappé to Madrid and would net the defending Spanish and European champions a total value of €230 million—just ahead of the €222 million PSG paid for Neymar, once again making CR7 the most expensive transfer in world history.
At first glance, it makes sense. Madrid have been targeting Mbappé for weeks, and Monaco has frequently been rumored as a landing spot for Ronaldo. Without the burden of competing with Barcelona, and to a lesser extent Atlético Madrid, Ronaldo could make Monaco a Champions League mainstay, building on their league title last season. The top comment on that Reddit thread suggests the move could greatly benefit Ronaldo personally, as well.
“Ronaldo goes to Monaco and marries Carlota Casiraghi,” posted a user named Bolah. Then, goes the theory, every person in front of her in Monaco’s line of succession dies, and without international investigation—who would want to upset European stability?—Ronaldo and his wife, as prince and princess, become the heads of state of Monaco.
A little far-fetched, sure, but would you bet against the two-time Ballon d’Or winner? Even if he doesn’t join the monarchy, the move to Monaco would still make sense for him. You can’t get charged with tax fraud in a place where there are no taxes.