'Cristiano Ronaldo looks set to leave Real Madrid'
Former Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas's agent Santos Marquez believes superstar Cristiano Ronaldo's decision to sell his image rights to a company owned by Valencia president Peter Lim suggests that the Portuguese striker is set to leave the Spanish football giants.
Madrid: Former Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas's agent Santos Marquez believes superstar Cristiano Ronaldo's decision to sell his image rights to a company owned by Valencia president Peter Lim suggests that the Portuguese striker is set to leave the Spanish football giants.
Ronaldo is under contract until 2018 but raised eyebrows on June 29 when he announced that he had signed a deal with Mint Media, goal.com reported on Monday.
Marquez believes that the agreement is bad news for Los Blancos, as he is viewing it as a sign that the Portugal captain is dissatisfied with club president Florentino Perez and is now preparing his Real exit.
"One day (Perez) will need to explain why Cristiano works for another company outside of Real Madrid. Imagine Cristiano generating 40 million euros elsewhere and giving it to Peter Lim. It ends up in Valencia's coffers and that's deplorable," the agent said.
"Will anyone speak out and ask Florentino why Cristiano has sold his image rights to Peter Lim? That’s not normal; it suggests that Cristiano is planning to leave."
Marquez then launched a savage attack on Perez's handling of goalkeeper Casillas' Real departure. Academy product Casillas was left sitting all alone at a press conference last Sunday as he brought the curtain down on a 25-year association with Los Blancos by announcing his decision to join Portuguese club Porto.
After being heavily criticised for his absence, Perez organised a hastily arranged send-off ceremony the following day and stated during the proceedings that it had been Casillas' desire to depart.
However, Marquez has accused the Real supremo of spinning a web of lies in relation to the manner of his client's exit.
"Iker never wanted to leave. He said that he never wanted to leave and that he could never ask to be Madrid's first choice goalkeeper, that he had two years left on his contract and that he would have liked to end his playing career at Madrid," the agent said.
"He was happy and Madrid is his home but they didn’t want him. Three weeks ago (new head coach Rafa) Benitez came along and the club started going crazy about signing (Manchester United No.1 David) De Gea and said what a great goalkeeper Keylor (Navas) is.
"That was a lack of respect towards Iker. He couldn’t ignore it. There is a before and an after to all of this. Benitez is not to blame; it was all orchestrated."