Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez- the man who oversaw the Spanish giant’s fabled Galácticos era, has named Juventus star, Cristiano Ronaldo, as ‘the greatest player’ he has managed to bring to the Santiago Bernabéu.
Having spent over 15 years as head honcho of the Madrid club across two spells beginning in 2000, Perez is renowned for superintending several high profile signings for Real Madrid including the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Michael Owen, Robinho, Xabi Alonso, Kaka, David Beckham, etc.
Although most of these stars are perceived world greats following their team and individual exploits, Perez has disclosed that securing Portuguese, Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United in 2009 for a then-world record fee, £80million, is the cherry-on-top on his list of transfer deals.
He told Onda Cero: ‘Cristiano was an exemplary professional who never caused problems.’
‘He’s the greatest player I ever signed and my relationship with him was always excellent, both as a player and a man.’
In the summer of 2018, rumors of bad blood between Ronaldo and Perez were widely circulated and was believed to have led to the five-time Balon d’Or winner swapping Madrid for Juventus; but that, according to the Real chief, is untrue.
‘I assumed he wanted new challenges and he took advantage of that moment to embrace them,’ he said.
‘We didn’t have any problems regarding money.
‘There were rumours about him wanting to leave because of the tax case, but that’s not the reality of the situation. He wanted a change and to improve his contract, so he found it at Juventus and everyone was happy.’
Ronaldo spent almost a decade at Real Madrid, scoring an incredible 450 goals in 438 appearances to became their all-time leading goalscorer and winning 16 trophies.
He is also Real Madrid’s most expensive sale in history following his €100 million move from the Spanish capital to Juventus last summer.