Cristiano Ronaldo drops hint he may leave Real Madrid after final triumph over Liverpool
Portuguese fails to say he will definitively return for Real Madrid next season
Cristiano Ronaldo may have played his last game for Real Madrid after winning a fourth Champions League crown with the Spanish side in a 3-1 victory over Liverpool on Saturday, saying he would soon make an announcement on his future.
“Right now we need to enjoy ourselves but in the next few days I’ll give an answer to the fans who have always been by my side. It was beautiful to be at Real Madrid,” the Portugal forward said after the game.
“The future of any Madrid player is not important, we have just made history.”
Karim Benzema scored Real’s opener while substitute Gareth Bale struck twice, including a sensational overhead kick, to seal a 13th European Cup win overall and their fourth title in five years after Sadio Mane had equalised for Liverpool.
Ronaldo, who is Real’s all-time top scorer, was asked to clarify his comments but continued to give ambiguous answers.
“I don’t have any doubts, it’s not important, I have to rest now, go and meet up with the Portugal team and in the next few weeks (I’ll make an announcement),” he added before he joins up with his country’s World Cup squad for the tournament in Russia.
The 33-year-old Ronaldo, who became the first player to win five Champions League titles since the competition changed format in 1992, including one with Manchester United, reacted angrily when asked if he was disappointed not to have scored.
“Who’s disappointed? Perhaps they need to change the name of the Champions League to the CR7 Champions League. Who has the most titles and who has the most goals?” said the Portuguese, who has scored a record 120 goals in the competition.
Real coach Zinedine Zidane could not give an answer when asked about the timing of Ronaldo’s comments and said he had not spoken to the player before the game about his future.
“Cristiano has to stay no matter what. We’ll see what happens next, but for me he should stay,” said the Frenchman.
Real captain Sergio Ramos also urged Ronaldo to remain at the club but said his teammate had to make clear what he meant.
“I’m sure Cris will speak at the end of the season. If there’s something behind this, he should come and clarify what it is today,” Ramos said.
“Cristiano is a key part of this team, he likes to feel loved and we all want him to stay, he won’t find a better place than here, he’s our superstar.
“Everyone is free to take a personal decision but I hope he stays here for many years,” he added.
Ronaldo caused a stir last year a few days after Real beat Juventus 4-1 in the final when Portuguese newspaper A Bola reported that the forward wanted to leave Madrid as he was not happy with how he had been treated by the Spanish club.
Ronaldo’s desire for a new contract was believed to be behind last year’s stories and he has still not signed a new deal at Real, who he joined from United in a then world record transfer worth £85.5 million pounds (US$113.77 million).