Marcelo Says Cristiano Ronaldo Decided on Real Madrid Exit Before 2018 UCL Final

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2019

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (R) and Real Madrid's Brazilian defender Marcelo (L) attend a team's training session at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine on May 25, 2018, on the eve of the UEFA Champions League final football match between Liverpool and Real Madrid. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)
LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

Real Madrid left-back Marcelo has revealed that his former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo told him before the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League final that he would be leaving the club.

Ronaldo ended a nine-year stay with the La Liga giants in the summer of 2018 when he made the switch to Juventus. At the end of that season, Madrid won their third UEFA Champions League in succession when they beat Liverpool 3-1 in the final in Kiev, Ukraine.

In a teaser clip of an interview with Esporte Interativo (h/t Jaime Candill of AS), Marcelo tells journalist Tatiana Mantovani that he knew Ronaldo would be moving on over the summer and had to lie in interviews about the topic as a result.

"Holy s--t, we were training for the final and he [Ronaldo] said to me: 'I'm leaving'," said Marcelo. 

"He told you before the final? That means you lied to me," responded Mantovani, before the Brazilian full-back said, "yes, I had to lie to you."

Ronaldo eventually completed his move to Juventus six weeks after Madrid's success, and while he didn't get on the scoresheet in the final, he played an important role in Los Blancos' progression in the competition, scoring 15 goals in total in the 2017-18 edition of the competition.

While he hasn't got up to speed in the tournament yet for Juventus, the Portuguese was prolific in the Champions League for Real Madrid:

Aside from some issues in European competition, including a red card in the away win over Valencia, Ronaldo has been a massive success at Juventus since his summer switch.

He may have taken some time to get going, but now he's regularly on the scoresheet for his new side.

Ronaldo netted again in the 3-0 win over Sassuolo in Serie A on Sunday, taking him to the 20-goal mark for the Bianconeri:

Given Real Madrid and Ronaldo have enjoyed serial success in unison in the Champions League in recent years, it will be intriguing to see how they each get on in the upcoming knockout stages.

Based on their early-season form, few would have given Los Blancos a chance of making it four in a row, especially without their talisman. However, manager Santiago Solari has steadied the ship and got the team playing some excellent football once again. As Madrid gear up for a trip to Ajax on Wednesday, they look dangerous again.

Marcelo has traditionally been a vital performer in the big games for Los Blancos down the years, although as things stand, he's in a battle for his place. The Brazilian was left on the bench on Saturday for Real's 3-1 win at rivals Atletico Madrid, with Sergio Reguilon performing well at left-back.  

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