REAL Madridâ€™s president Florentino PÃ©rez played down an apparent spat with Cristiano Ronaldo on Friday and defended his clubâ€™s transfer policy.
PÃ©rez, who has splashed hundreds of millions of euros of the European championsâ€™ cash on top players in recent years, said the loyalty of Ronaldo, the current world player of the year, had been â€œunquestionableâ€. The Portugal captain made headlines on Monday when he said the clubâ€™s transfer dealings in the latest window would probably have been different if he had been in charge.
â€œI know Cristiano Ronaldo very well,â€ PÃ©rez said in a press conference on Thursday. â€œCristiano is the best player in the world and his loyalty to Madrid is unquestionable. I have listened to all the comments he made and as I know him, I know that he never questioned the club. My relationship with him is perfect, there are zero discrepancies.â€
After winning a record-extending 10th European crown last season, when Ronaldo was the teamâ€™s top scorer, Real sold Xabi Alonso and Ãngel di Maria and brought in Toni Kroos and James RodrÃguez. The departure of Alonso to Bayern Munich, in particular, has prompted suggestions the Madrid club will not have enough quality and experience in midfield without him, while the Argentinian Di MarÃa is seen as close to Ronaldo.
Real stuttered in their second La Liga outing at the weekend when they let slip a 2-0 lead and crashed to a 4-2 reverse at Real Sociedad. Ronaldo, 29, missed the game through injury and he followed up his comments on Monday by giving an interview to a British newspaper in which he appeared to suggest he wanted to return to former club Manchester United at some point in his career.
PÃ©rez, who pushed through a lucrative contract extension for Ronaldo in September last year that ties him to the club until 2018, defended Realâ€™s decision to sell Alonso and Di MarÃa. â€œIâ€™ve been here since 2000,â€ PÃ©rez said. â€œSince then a lot of players have come and gone and my experience tells me that the ones that leave are always the best and those that arrive are always questioned.
â€œMy first [signing] was [Zinezine] Zidane and the last [before this summerâ€™s transfer market] was [Gareth] Bale. We made the best offer that we could to Di MarÃa and he didnâ€™t accept it. Hence, we brought in James [RodrÃguez], one of the best players at the World Cup and the Golden Boot award winner.
â€œDi MarÃa had financial requests that I considered legitimate but we couldnâ€™t satisfy them. I reiterate that we made him the best possible offer.
â€œWith the exception of Cristiano [Ronaldo], Di MarÃa would have been the highest paid at Real Madrid. Had we accepted his financial demands it would have created an unbalanced treatment that would have put the clubâ€™s stability in danger.â€
PÃ©rez also explained Alonsoâ€™s surprising move to Bayern. â€œXabi came to us and told us that he wanted to leave,â€ he said. â€œHe thought it was the best for him and for the club. Our relationship with Xabi is excellent and we accepted his proposal.
â€œXabi is in the final stages of his sporting career and wants to manage it in this way. We understand it and we respect it.â€
PÃ©rez revealed that Carlo Ancelotti proved crucial in his clubâ€™s decision not to sign Radamel Falcao this summer. Falcao was heavily linked with a move to the BernabÃ©u in the past few months but joined Manchester United on a season-long loan from Monaco on Monday instead.
â€œWe considered signing Falcao,â€ PÃ©rez said. â€œBut in this club we follow a sporting-economic equation which [the former club president Santiago] BernabÃ©u taught us, and we decided not to do so. The coachâ€™s opinion was also important in us turning it down.â€ – The Guardian