Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has insisted that Cristiano Ronaldo will not change his mind over leaving the Bernabeu this summer.
Ronaldo, following allegations of several acts of tax fraud between 2011 and 2014, no longer wants to play in Spain and will seek a move elsewhere.
And Calderon, Madrid president from 2006 to 2009, believes that convincing Ronaldo to stay will be difficult.
“Maybe he’s just upset,” Calderon said. “Maybe it is something he said in a moment when he’s really angry. We don’t know yet. He’s been happy here, he helped us to win three Champions Leagues over the past four years, so I hope he will stay.”
“But, if he’s made his mind up, I don’t think it’s going to be easy to change. He’s very strong-minded and clear in what he wants.
“If he leaves I don’t see him in a place like China or the Middle East. He will be always playing for a big club and trying to get more titles and more personal awards.”
Zinedine Zidane and captain Sergio Ramos have both contacted Ronaldo in an attempt to persuade him to remain at the Bernabeu and there is, of course, still a chance of the Portuguese remaining in Spain, especially if the aforementioned allegations against him are dropped. Any reports of Ronaldo pin-pointing a specific next destination have not been confirmed.
But the situation, whichever way you look at it, is a nightmare for Madrid. Ronaldo is more than just their best player; the Portuguese single handedly props up the club’s image of regality and faceless domination. Whoever signs him will, no doubt, shift the power balance in Europe away from Florentino Perez.