Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has slammed his old club for their decision to sell Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus and called it a "historic error" to let the Portuguese star leave the Santiago Bernabeu.
Ronaldo, 33, was recently confirmed as Juventus' new record signing, but Calderon felt Los Blancos didn't get a good enough deal to consider selling their talisman, even in his advanced years, per Ignacio Camacho of AS:
“It's very sad that they have sold a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, it's a real pity. 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.
"Selling Cristiano is not good news, either for 100 million or a billion. But it is true that we put a clause of a billion million 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."
Calderon resigned as Real president in January 2009, six months before Ronaldo completed his move from Manchester United, but it was the departed figurehead who laid much of the foundations for the deal.
Even though Perez was the man in the presidential seat—for a second term—by the time Ronaldo's record-breaking deal went through, La Liga expert Graham Hunter told Off the Ball it was Calderon whom Ronaldo saw as the architect:
Off The Ball @offtheball
"There has been this constant sore, this constant weeping sore that it was Ramon Calderon who signed Ronaldo" @BumperGraham on the uneasy relationship between Ronaldo and #RealMadrid president Florentino Perez: https://t.co/xaVF3lasV7 #Juve @BoyleSports https://t.co/526DsiRq7g
Of course it matches up that Calderon would criticise a transfer he worked so hard to orchestrate nine years ago, and there are reasons to back up both sides of the argument.
On one hand, Los Blancos may have done well to squeeze a nine-figure fee (a profit on their initial investment) out of a 33-year-old with diminishing re-sale value. Those funds can be used to invest elsewhere and give new manager Julen Lopetegui control over how best to begin the post-Ronaldo era.
But then again, Ronaldo is a unique talent perhaps worth holding onto at any age considering he scored a minimum of 42 goals in each of his nine seasons at Real, making him worth braving any political squabble within the club.
His move to Juventus became that much more real on Sunday, when the forward was captured flying into new home Turin:
Ronaldo is older and wiser these days, but Goal's Ronan Murphy noted how his love of the spotlight doesn't look to have waned:
His four-year contract in Italy means we can look forward to seeing Ronaldo in Serie A for another four years, something he may not have received in Madrid, which is perhaps reason enough why the move is good from a neutral perspective.
But Calderon felt Real failed to get an adequate deal by selling their most prized asset, one he worked so hard to bring to Madrid almost a decade ago.