Tuesday 17 October 2017

Real Madrid would not sell Cristiano Ronaldo for 'his weight in gold', insists club president Florentino Perez

Cristiano Ronaldo (L) poses with president Florentino Perez after signing a five-year contract renewal until 2021 for Real Madrid FC at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on November 7, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images)
Cristiano Ronaldo (L) poses with president Florentino Perez after signing a five-year contract renewal until 2021 for Real Madrid FC at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on November 7, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images)

Evan Bartlett

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has claimed the club would “never” sell Cristiano Ronaldo, despite the Portuguese forward suggesting he would like a move back to the Premier League last week.

The 32-year-old’s future became the subject of huge debate at the start of the summer when he hit out at his treatment in Spain after being accused of tax fraud.

Unlike Barcelona’s handling of Lionel Messi’s and Neymar’s previous tax cases, there was a suggestion that Ronaldo felt he did not receive the same support from Madrid.

The four-time Ballon d’Or winner also criticised sections of the club’s fans who booed him last season.

"I spent a lot of years at Manchester United and [home fans booing] never happened to me. Not even once," he said.

"Maybe England is a case apart, the mentality is different.

"I'm very happy being in Spain but obviously I also miss England because you can't just turn off the memories."

While a deal to Manchester United never materialised and the forward signed a new contract in the Spanish capital, he reignited talk of a move back after court comments were leaked to the Spanish press.

Ronaldo reportedly held a private hearing with judge Monica Gomez Ferrer las Monday, with radio station Cadena Ser reporting that Ronaldo told her: “I never had a [tax] problem in England… that’s why I would like to go back.” 

In the wake of Neymar’s world record move to PSG, Perez is adamant Real will not follow suit in selling one of their biggest assets.

“Sell Cristiano? Never. I wouldn’t sell Cristiano if they paid his weight in gold,” Perez, who is on holiday in Italy, told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Only the great players bring in great fees.”

 (© Independent News Service)

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