Even while he is on an entirely different team in an entirely different country, Cristiano Ronaldo still cannot resist the allure of El Clasico. OK, so it's not entirely because the Juventus superstar really, really wanted to watch Sunday's Real Madrid-Barcelona matchup, as his club's match this weekend was postponed due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.
Nonetheless, it's still a big deal that one of the world's most famous soccer players returned to his old stomping ground as it's the first time Ronaldo has returned to the Bernabeu since leaving the club in the summer of 2018.
While rumors surrounding Ronaldo's decision to leave the Spanish club had become a tradition of sorts during the summer transfer window, the possibility of his departure became a bit more serious after defeating Liverpool in the 2018 Champions League final. When asked about his future with Real Madrid, he was notably coy in his responses.
There was also speculation that part of his decision to leave for Italy had to do with both the club not-so-subtly trying to bring on Neymar to the team, and his feeling that the club did not properly support him during his famous tax evasion case with Spanish authorities. His presence at the world's most famous derby signals that at least some of that has been put behind him.
Ronaldo played for Real Madrid for nine seasons from 2009 to 2018. He elevated his status to become arguably the greatest player in the world, and scored 450 goals in 438 appearances.