Cristiano Ronaldo has distanced himself from speculation over a potential return to Real Madrid, saying his "story... has been written" with the La Liga giants. Reports in Spain on Monday suggested that Ronaldo and Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti had discussed the Juventus forward potentially coming back to the Spanish capital, a claim swiftly denied by Ancelotti.
That dismissal has been echoed by Ronaldo in what is a rare statement about his footballing future by the 36-year-old, who has a year left on his contract at Juventus. "In view of everything that's been said and written recently, I have to set out my position. More than the disrespect for me as a man and as a player, the frivolous way that my future is covered in the media is disrespectful to all the clubs involved in these rumours, as well as to their players and staff.
"My story at Real Madrid has been written. It's been recorded. In words and numbers, in trophies and titles, in records and in headlines. It's in the Museum at the Bernabeu Stadium and it's also in the minds of every fan of the club. And beyond what I achieved, I remember that in those nine years I had a relationship of deep affection and respect for "merengue afición", an affection and respect that I retain to this day, and that I will always cherish. I know that the true Real Madrid fans will continue to have me in their hearts, and I will have them in mine.
"As well as this most recent episode in Spain, there have been frequent news and stories associating me with a number of clubs in many different leagues, with nobody ever being concerned about trying to find out the actual truth. I'm breaking my silence now to say that I can't allow people to keep playing around with my name. I remain focused on my career and in my work, committed and prepared for all the challenges that I have to face. Everything else? Everything else is just talk."
Here's Ronaldo's post:
Ronaldo has also been linked with another of his former clubs, Manchester United, as well as Paris Saint-Germain, who signed his great rival Lionel Messi from Barcelona earlier this month. Madrid's financial situation is rather similar to that of Barça and they likely could not absorb's Ronaldo's sizeable salary without the sort of mass clear out of their wage bill that they have been attempting in vain for several years.
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Ancelotti himself had said earlier on Tuesday that he had not spoken to Ronaldo about coming back to Madrid, where he holds the all time scoring record with 451 goals in 438 appearances between 2009 and 2018, when he joined Juventus in a $118 million deal.
"Cristiano is a Real Madrid legend and has all my love and respect," Ancelotti wrote on Twitter. "Never have I tried to sign him. We're looking forward."