The Real Madrid chapter of Cristiano Ronaldo’s career may not be closed after Jose Fonte said the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has “always left the door open” to a potential return.
Ronaldo, 35, exited the Santiago Bernabeu to join Juventus for $131 million (€112 million) in the summer of 2018, but that may not end up being the last major transfer of his career.
Portugal team-mate Fonte—who also spent five years alongside Ronaldo in the Sporting CP academy—told talkSPORT’s Jim White it wouldn’t be a shock if he were to rejoin the Madrid giants:
“It’s clear that he loves the club itself, it’s one of the biggest clubs in the world, if not the biggest.
“He’s left many, many friends there and he’s always left the door open. So I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes back to Real Madrid.”
Ronaldo first moved to the Bernabeu from Manchester United in 2009 and spent just short of a decade with Los Blancos, winning four UEFA Champions League titles, three FIFA Club World Cups and La Liga on two occasions.
He celebrated his 35th birthday in February and showed his body doesn’t look like slowing down just yet:
The Bianconeri’s record signing has scored 53 goals in 75 games since moving to Turin, but Corriere dello Sport suggested Juve could be willing to sell their talisman for £50 million.
That record in Italy doesn’t quite match up to Ronaldo’s tally of 450 goals in 438 appearances for Real—1.03 goals per game—and La Liga recently shared a collection of his highlights in Spain (via Goal):
It was against Juventus that Ronaldo scored one of the all-time great Champions League goals—arguably the best of his career—in the Turin leg of the 2018 quarter-finals (which Real won 3-0), via ESPN FC:
Lille defender Fonte, 36, has himself enjoyed a later-than-usual pickup in his career, playing in the Portugal teams that won both UEFA Euro 2016 and the inaugural UEFA Nations League.
Ronaldo has another two years left on his current contract with Juve, but the prospect of a second stint at the Bernabeu is a tantalising one for Real. The coronavirus pandemic has cast a great deal of doubt over the 2019-20 season and how this summer’s transfer window will play out, but another move for Ronaldo could make things even more interesting.