Cristiano Ronaldo blamed club president Florentino Perez as the main reason behind his decision to leave Real Madrid this summer and sign with Italian giants Juventus.
The Portugal captain ended his nine-year spell at Real Madrid with a move to Turin for a €55 million annual salary, following a reported rift with Real Madrid president Perez over a new contract.
Ronaldo told France Football in an excerpt from an interview released on Monday: “I felt that inside the club, especially on the part of the president, I was not under the same consideration as I was when I started with the club.
The first four or five years there, I had the feeling of being Cristiano Ronaldo. Then, I felt it less. The look in the president’s eyes told me that he no longer felt the same, that I was no longer indispensable.”
Over the summer, the clubs agreed on a transfer fee of €100m — a Serie A record — with the Italian club also paying €12m in ancillary fees to land the 33-year-old, who signed a four-year contract.
Reports from inside club were that Ronaldo was waiting for an offer from Real Madrid to improve upon his existing contract, which had three years left to run at an estimated €38.5m gross annually, making it worth significantly less than those of his fellow superstars — Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (€73.6m) and Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar (€66m) — despite the Portugal captain helping Madrid extend their record haul of European Cup trophies to 13.
Ronaldo, who won 16 trophies and scored 450 goals in nine seasons at Madrid, told France Football that Perez’s shift in attitude caused him to “reflect upon his exit” from Madrid and let him to eventually request to be transferred to Juve.
“When the reports began to make the rounds that I wanted to leave, I had the impression that the president was not going to stop me,” Ronaldo said in the advance of the interview, which is expected to run in its entirety in the French weekly magazine on Tuesday.