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Tomás Roncero | 10/09/2012
The international fixtures meant the explosive meeting between Cristiano and Real Madrid had to be postponed, but this week all the interested parties will come together.
When the Portuguese forward returns from international duty, he will meet with the club to discuss the bombshell he dropped on 2 September, when he revealed he was "sad, and the club know why". Portugal face Azerbaijan in Braga on Tuesday and Florentino Pérez's plan is to meet Cristiano in person on his return to the Spanish capital on Wednesday.
Both Florentino and Mourinho know that the player's place in the Madrid hierarchy and his importance to the club's project in the next few years obliges them to resolve the situation as soon as possible and reach the bottom of the conflict.
Cristiano made a statement last Tuesday in which he denied that money was the route of the conflict, but it has emerged that he wants to extend and improve his contract, which is set to expire in 2015. The fact that this summer Ángel Di María, Álvaro Arbeloa, Raúl Albiol and Gonzalo Higuaín have all renewed their contracts hasn't helped Cristiano's craving, despite the fact that in June he declared it was his dream "to finish my career in Madrid".
As AS reported last week, the club had a plan to finance an improved contract for the Portuguese, 'Operation Cristiano', which involved selling Kaká during the summer (so much so that Mourinho told him he no longer wanted him at the club) and therefore granting the club a huge saving, as the Brazilian will earn a further 27 million euros after tax until 2015. But no club showed true intent in signing the former Ballon d'Or winner. Cristiano, meanwhile, has seen his place among the best paid players in the world slip to sixth in the world, despite the fact that, he is among the best two players in the world, alongside Lionel Messi.
Cristiano also thinks Madrid don't support him in the same way that Barça support Messi, decreasing his chances of winning personal awards like the Ballon d'Or and the UEFA player of the year. But the club are well aware that Casillas is another candidate for the Ballon d'Or, and so cannot make any declarations in support of Ronaldo. As a club spokesman said: "It makes Madrid very proud to have two candidates for the Ballon d'Or in our squad, and it wouldn't make sense to choose between the two of them."
Florentino Pérez and Mourinho are preparing to solve the conflict with a meeting on Wednesday, before Madrid's next games, important ties away to Sevilla and then at home to Manchester City in the Champions League, which will be Cristiano's first game at the Bernabéu since making those now infamous comments. The Real Madrid supporters clubs consulted by this newspaper insist that the fans have to support Ronaldo, even though he has gone about things the wrong way. "He's our best striker and we need him," is the general response. Mourinho, meanwhile, will tell his compatriot his disgust at the way he has revealed his anger with the club.