Christian Karembeu says Cristiano Ronaldo will stay at Real Madrid this summer despite recent revelations that he wants to leave the club.
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The 32-year-old forward has been accused of tax evasion by the authorities in Spain and it was reported in the Portuguese press earlier this month that the player is keen on a transfer this summer.
Ronaldo, who is away with Portugal at the Confederations Cup in Russia, has not expressed himself publicly with regard to his intentions, but Karembeu – who was speaking at the La Liga Promises tournament in New Jersey – told Goal: “I don’t think he will leave.
“We need to be realistic. He has a contract and with any contact there are rules and laws. His release clause is €1 billion and no club will be able to pay that. I think Cristiano will stay and they will find a solution. We will see what happens, but I think he will stay.”
Ronaldo fired Madrid to a third Champions League crown in four seasons as he netted twice in the final against Juventus in Cardiff on June 3 and he appeared happy amid the celebrations in the city and at the Santiago Bernabeu the following day.
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However, it was confirmed just days later that he is accused of evading €14.7m in taxes and after leaving for Russia, the news broke on the front page of A Bola that he wants to leave Spain.
Some have suggested that, at the age of 32, this may not be a bad time for Madrid to sell Ronaldo – but Karembeu believes the four-time Ballon d’Or winner still has a lot to offer his current club.
“He broke all the records,” the former France international said. “He belongs to Real Madrid and I think he knows that. He has achieved many, many goals with Real Madrid.
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“He is a worldwide brand, just like Real Madrid, so I think he is in the best place and I think he will end up staying.”
Karembeu, a World Cup winner and European champion with France, spent three seasons at Real and won the Champions League on two occasions – in 1998 and 2000. The 46-year-old is now an ambassador for La Liga.