Cristiano Ronaldo back training with former club following Manchester United departure. Cristiano Ronaldo has been welcomed back to Real Madrid four years after leaving the club, with the 37-year-old invited to train in the Spanish capital this week.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was last seen heading down the tunnel at the Al Thumama Stadium in floods of tears following Portugal’s shock World Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Morocco.
Ronaldo is now in the process of looking for a new club, with his contract at Manchester United having been terminated following an explosive interview with Piers Morgan last month.
There were reports that Ronaldo had agreed a two-and-a-half-year contract worth an eye-watering £432million to join Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr, though that move does not appear to be close just yet after he turned up at Real Madrid’s training ground on Wednesday.
According to Spanish outlet Relevo, the forward made a surprise appearance at Real’s Valdebebas training complex as he looks to maintain his fitness before the January window opens.
The Portugal skipper still believes he is capable of playing for a Champions League-calibre club despite his advancing years and mixed form for club and country.
Ronaldo reached out to Real’s hierarchy to see if he could train at Valdebebas while he waits for a new club, with the Spanish giants happy to accommodate one of their greatest ever players.
There are zero suggestions that Ronaldo’s appearance could hint at a possible return to Madrid on a permanent basis, with his request to train given the greenlight by manager Carlo Ancelotti.
The Italian is back at Real for his second spell in charge and was also at the Bernabeu for two of Ronaldo’s nine seasons at the club, during which time they won the Champions League and Copa del Rey together.
Ronaldo – who still has a home in Madrid – carried out an individual training session with a personal fitness coach at Valdebebas, though his sighting caused surprise and shock among the players and staff who were present.
The veteran forward did not have any contact with any of his old team-mates, though Real’s academy players rushed to get a glimpse of him in action.
After Portugal’s World Cup exit, Ronaldo posted a lengthy statement on social media, saying: ‘I just want you all to know that much has been said, much has been written, much has been speculated, but my dedication to Portugal has not changed for a moment. I was always one fighting for the objective of all and I would never turn my back on my colleagues and my country.
‘Not much more to say for now. Thank you Portugal. Thank you Qatar. The dream was nice while it lasted. Now, here’s hoping that time will be good advisor and allow everyone to draw their own conclusions.’