LONDON. — Cristiano Ronaldo has informed several of his Real Madrid teammates he intends to quit the Champions League soccer title holders this summer, according to reports in Spain. The 33-year-old played a prominent role in his side’s third successive Champions League triumph last Saturday as a Gareth Bale double helped Zinedine Zidane’s side to a 3-1 win over Liverpool.
After the match, Ronaldo stole the limelight by fueling speculation over his future, saying: “It was very nice to be in Madrid. In the next few days I will give an answer to the fans, who have always been by my side.”
The former Manchester United winger subsequently admitted those comments were ill-advised having been criticised by his club captain Sergio Ramos.
Marca, however, claims several of his teammates were already aware of Ronaldo’s desire to seek a fresh challenge ahead of the landmark victory in Kiev.
The Madrid-based outlet claims the club’s hierarchy remain angry with the Ballon d’Or holder but remain confident he is likely to remain at the Bernabeu having been forced to contend with an identical saga last summer.
In any case, Zidane’s shock decision to stand down after two-and-a-half trophy-laden years in Madrid means president Florentino Perez has a more important priority to focus on.
Former England and Real Madrid manager Fabrio Capello, meanwhile, believes Ronaldo has his heart set on a return to United and a reunion with Jose Mourinho.
“Cristiano Ronaldo’s future with Real Madrid? Cristiano wants to return to Manchester United alongside Mourinho,” the former Madrid and England manager told Sky Sport 24.
“I think he will eventually leave Madrid to go back to England. When? This I don’t know.”
Reports on Friday claimed Ronaldo learned of Zidane’s decision while on holiday in Marbella and the France legend is set to call his former player and advise him to remain in the Spanish capital. — Metro.