Tuesday 22 August 2017

Cristiano Ronaldo tells Portugal team-mates he is determined to leave Real Madrid and 'there's no going back'

Portugal's national soccer team player Cristiano Ronaldo attends a training session
Portugal's national soccer team player Cristiano Ronaldo attends a training session

Samuel Lovett

Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly told his Portugal teammates that he is "determined" to walk away from Real Madrid and “there is no going back” after it first emerged on Friday morning that he wants to leave the club.

According to Portuguese daily A Bola, the 32-year-old, who is currently on international duty with Portugal for the Confederations Cup, has been left angered at his treatment by Spanish tax authorities and now wishes to leave the country.

Ronaldo is the subject of a lawsuit brought by Spanish prosecutors over tax that they believe he should have paid on image rights income. The winger is being accused of defrauding nearly €15m from the taxpayer.

Real Madrid issued a statement fully supporting the player, claiming they were "absolutely convinced of his innocence", but Marca alleges that Ronaldo is unsatisfied with the club over their attempts to defend him on the matter.

As such, the forward has made clear his position to Florentino Perez, the Real Madrid president, and is now “determined” to leave Spain.

"I’m leaving Madrid, I’m determined. There’s no turning back," Ronaldo is quoted as saying by Marca in what is the latest report to emerge from Spain.

Ronaldo’s sense of alienation has been reported before and the player recently vented his anger against the demanding Bernabeu crowds who, on occasion, have booed him during games across the past season.

"I don't like it and it's not normal that they whistle you in your own stadium,” he said earlier this month. “I just don't like it.

It shouldn't be the case that a player who always wants to give his best and give 100 per cent for this team, when he makes his first mistake people whistle.”

With Ronaldo now supposedly looking for a move out of Spain, the player has already been linked to a series of top European clubs.

Paris Saint-Germain have been long-term admirers of the Madeira-born star and held a number of secret meetings with him over a transfer during the 2015/16 season.

Club president Nasser El-Khelaifi would jump at another chance to sign Ronaldo, even if there were suggestions he leveraged PSG's interest to boost the multi-million euro contract extension he signed last year.

Manchester United, too, would be keen on bringing Ronaldo back to Old Trafford. Ed Woodward remains obsessed by star appeal and signing football's biggest individual brand would tick every box as United look to return to being title challengers.

With the collapse of their move for Antoine Griezmann and Andrea Belotti proving too expensive, Ronaldo could be the perfect tonic for United even if it is hard to imagine a scenario where the Portuguese decided to leave Madrid and United hadn't already been informed.

Ronaldo's representatives declined to comment when approached by The Independent.

Independent News Service

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