Cristiano Ronaldo

Just weeks after revealing his "sadness" at Real Madrid, Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly wants to be paid an astronomical £400,000 per week to stay with the Spanish giants.

The 27-year-old Portuguese star, who fired his first hat-trick of the season in Madrid's 5-1 win over Deportivo La Coruna in a league game, joined Madrid from Manchester United in 2009 for a world record fee of £80m. At the time, he was the world's highest paid footballer, with a wage of £200,000 per week (close to £8m a year).

However, a number of other leading players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Samuel Eto'o amd Didier Drogba have since secured transfers bringing huge wage increases, while others have agreed lucrative new contracts with their existing club, including Ronaldo's old United team mate Wayne Rooney who, according to the Sun, now earns £250,000 per week.

Ronaldo recently found himself at the bottom of a list of the world's ten highest paid footballers, compiled by Spanish newspaper Marca. The list was headed by Eto'o, on a wage of nearly £16m a year, and also featured Premier League stars such as Yaya Toure, Sergio Agüero and Fernando Torres.

Spanish Flag

Ronaldo has scored 155 goals in 153 games for Madrid but sources close to the club claim Spain's stringent tax laws may deter president Florentino Perez from sanctioning the wage increase demanded by his star player.

Under Spanish law, Real are required to pay 52 percent tax on Ronaldo's salary (up from an earlier 24 percent). While Ronaldo's reported wage demands would equate to an annual salary of £19.2m, local tax regulations would require a £28m outlay every year from Madrid.

Critics also note that Ronaldo owns 40 percent of his image rights, meaning he makes 40 percent of every sponsorship deal involving his brand and/or the club's association. A Daily Mail report estimated his total package (inclusive of these deals) is due to increase by 25 percent every year, bringing Ronaldo's earnings to around £320,000 per week.

Meanwhile, reveals Barcelona are preparing a new contract for Lionel Messi, although no financial details are yet available.