The man who spent years chasing Cristiano Ronaldo while in charge of Real Madrid has blasted the Spanish giants for the ‘historic error’ of letting him move to Juventus.
Ronaldo touched down in Turin on Sunday ahead of his medical after the Serie A champions agreed to a €112 million deal with Madrid.
A five-time Ballon d’Or winner and Madrid’s all-time leading goalscorer, Ronaldo helped the Spanish giants to a third consecutive Champions League crown last season after netting 44 goals in all competitions.
Ramon Calderon was the president of Real Madrid from 2006 to January 2009 and has previously taken credit for the club’s high-profile coup of Ronaldo, who moved from Manchester United in June 2009 for what was then a world-record €94m fee.
While who was responsible for the signing of Ronaldo remains a matter of conjecture, Calderon is nonetheless furious to see current president Florentino Perez make the decision to move on.
“Selling Cristiano is not good news, either for 100 million or a billion,” he told Spanish newspaper AS.
“But it is true that we put a clause of a billion euros to discourage those interested in him in the future, but at the same time, to show that there was no other player like him. It’s a historic error.”
Perez served a first term in charge of Real Madrid during the original ‘galacticos’ era, and Calderon did his best to continue that regime.
But with Ronaldo now 33 years old and having cast doubt on his future in Spain after their Champions League title win in May, all parties agreed to move on.
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“It’s very sad that they have sold a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, it’s a real pity,” Calderon said.
“With what it cost me to sign him, the effort that we made to bring him to Madrid…. Manchester (United) did not want to sell him and it was very difficult.
“And now they have sold him for 100 million euros. There isn’t a player who scores 60 goals a year for you and is worth to you 100 million euros.”