Ronaldo agrees to give up lucrative salary after Neymar sent clear message
Ronaldo has agreed to pass up his salary as president of Spanish club Real Valladolid due to the club’s financial losses – while the former striker has also sent an open letter to Brazil star Neymar.
The club have confirmed in a statement that the iconic former striker had agreed "not to receive any remuneration in the financial year ending June 30, 2022" after the club posted losses in excess of €5million (£4.3million). Those losses were linked to the club playing in the second tier of Spanish football in 2021/22, prior to their promotion back to La Liga at the first attempt.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo has sent an open letter of support to Neymar, who was ruled out of his nation’s group games against Switzerland – which Brazil won 1-0 on Monday evening – and is almost certain to miss the following group clash against Cameroon due to an ankle injury sustained against Serbia.
Neymar was withdrawn in the 80th minute of Brazil’s 2-0 victory over Serbia on Thursday and was then pictured in tears on the bench, prior to confirmation of his injury layoff. That has led to Ronaldo – who spearheaded Brazil’s last World Cup triumph in 2002 – to send Neymar a special message.
Ronaldo, whose playing career was hampered by a series of long-term injury layoffs and fitness issues, said in an Instagram post to Neymar: “I couldn't start this open letter any other way: you are awesome, Neymar! A giant!
“I am sure that most Brazilians, like me, admire and love you. Your talent, by the way, has taken you so far, so high, that there is love and admiration for you in every corner of the world. And it is also for this reason, for having reached where you have, for the success you have achieved, that you have to deal with so much envy and evil.
Neymar sustained the ankle injury after a heavy challenge against Serbia on Thursday
(Image: Dave Shopland/REX/Shutterstock)
“Something like celebrating the injury of a star like you, with a story like yours. How far have we fallen? What world is this? What message are we passing on to our young people? There will always be people rooting against you, but it is sad to see society on a path of trivializing intolerance, of normalising hate speech.
“It is against this verbal violence with destructive power that I write to you today: come back stronger! Smarter! Hungry for goals! The good you do on and off the field is much greater than envy towards you. Don't forget for a second the journey that made you a world football idol. Brazil loves you! The real fans - the ones who are in favour - need your goals, dribbles, boldness and joy!
“Celebrate the love that comes from most of your country. You will bounce back Neymar! And may all the hate turn into fuel. To everyone who has read this far, I ask that you send positive energy to the national team, to Neymar, to Danilo and all the players.”