Editor's Note: According to the Orlando Sentinel's Paul Tenorio, the quotes below in Marca were inaccurate. Tenorio writes that the quotes in this story are the accurate portrayal of the interview.
Yes, get your LOLs out of the way now.
Orlando City's biggest goal as one of two MLS expansion teams in 2015 has been to #DefyExpectations. They did that last summer when they brought in a former World Player of the Year, Kaká, and they did it again in March when more than 62,000 people filled the Citrus Bowl for their opening match against new York City FC.
Now, Orlando City owner Flávio Augusto da Silva thinks he is ready for his club to defy expectations once again.
His new plan? Sign Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.
In a recent interview with Spanish outlet Marca on Tuesday, the club's Brazilian owner expressed his desire to bring in Ronaldo, who has reportedly eyed joining MLS in 2018, for the 2016 MLS season.
"Truthfully, we like Cristiano Ronaldo a lot. We'd sign him without thinking about it," da Silva said. "Physically, he's more complete than [Leo] Messi, and he'd make more of an impact on a marketing level in MLS than the Argentine. Hopefully, we can sign him for this upcoming season. We've always heard that he'd like to come to the United States to play."
First of all, the chances that Ronaldo comes to MLS -- at least at this point in his career, when he's performing at one of his best levels -- seems almost laughable. Him signing with Orlando City seems even more so.
Flávio is a rich man, and there's no denying that -- just look at what he's done already: the big signings, the decision to privately fund his own soccer stadium in downtown Orlando, etc. -- but to bring Ronaldo to Orlando right now would cost a lot of money. Like, a lot.
For any club to sign Ronaldo now, they'd have to be able to pay for his release clause of $1.5 billion, which would be negotiated down, of course. Then you start looking at his transfer fee -- which would easily be the highest ever -- somewhere around $130 million. Oh, and then there's his wages, which would also obviously be the highest in MLS history, by far.
Whether or not MLS, or any of its clubs, can afford bringing in him is yet to be seen.
Unless Flávio is currently planning to bring in another super-billionaire owner to sit alongside him, it just seems very, very unlikely. At least right now.