Three-time World Player
of the Year Ronaldo has given his biggest hint yet that he will leave
Spanish giants Real Madrid at the end of the season, two months after
saying he felt unhappy.
The Brazilian striker is in his fourth year at the club but his tenuous
relationship with fans at the Bernabeu, which erupted in February when
he lashed out at them in an interview after he was roundly jeered during
a Champions League defeat to Arsenal, led him to admitting he was
Ronaldo shocked the club by saying he had never felt at home in Madrid,
feeling that fans had never taken to him despite his goalscoring
His comments prompted As sports daily to opine in February that "the
board of directors has initiated the transfer of Ronaldo."
Speaking at a press conference Friday he suggested that his spell at the
nine-time European champions was coming to a close.
"I am the last to decide - I have a contract with Madrid and I have my
wishes," he said. "I've not taken any decision."
Turning his attention to his treatment by the fans, he added: "I don't
want to talk about my relationship with the Bernabeu fans - I said what
had to be said."
Ronaldo was alluding to his previous comment that the fans never showed
any patience with him, although he did accept that a good performance
generally brought due praise from the crowd.
"Goals are the solution to everything. When you score the fans are
happier and there is less controversy," he said.
Ronaldo, who has been linked with former club Inter Milan and their city
rivals AC Milan, said nevertheless little had changed in his heart
despite recent good form which included a goal that rescued a point last
weekend at Barcelona.
"I still think the same way but I don't want to talk too much about it
as anything you do say could make things worse. I am not sad but want to
avoid a controversy."
Ronaldo, who arrived in Madrid fresh from 2002 World Cup glory, has won
one Spanish league title but failed to land the Champions League he
craves with the club continually flopping in Europe's premier
He added that his status in the game meant it seemed there were "big
repercussions around the world" if he was off his game, but during such
periods he felt as if he had the cares of the world to carry on his
shoulders, despite being club top scorer with 13 in the league.
This season, Real are set to make it three years without a trophy having
been dumped out of the Champions League by Arsenal in the last 16 after
failing to score in either leg and sitting 11 points behind Barcelona as
the league enters its final strait.