Scottish Daily Mail



CRIS­TIANO RON­ALDO will play his last home league Cla­sico on Satur­day — with his slow di­vorce from Real Madrid com­ing to an in­evitable con­clu­sion next May. That’s the opin­ion of sources close to the Span­ish club he joined in 2009 — and it’s a the­ory backed up by the fact that Real Madrid snubbed the Lon­don film Pre­miere of the player’s film The Man last Mon­day. Ron­aldo goes into the game against ri­vals Barcelona on Satur­day hav­ing failed to score in 12 of the 18 games he has played for club and coun­try this sea­son but the seeds of sep­a­ra­tion are due to his re­la­tion­ship with the club, rather than his form. They are rooted in Real Madrid’s de­sire to cash-in on a player who will be 31 by the end of the sea­son but would still com­mand a huge trans­fer fee. The first cracks ap­peared at the end of last sea­son when the player pub­licly called the club out for the sack­ing of Carlo Ancelotti. Ron­aldo tweeted: ‘Great coach and amaz­ing per­son. Hope we work to­gether next sea­son’, along with a pho­to­graph of him­self and Ancelotti be­fore the sack­ing was con­firmed. Play­ers and staff at the club al­ready knew that Ancelotti would not be kept on and the Tweet was viewed as a clear act of dis­sent as the board pre­pared to hire Rafa Ben­itez as man­ager. But Ron­aldo and Ben­itez have en­dured a dif­fi­cult re­la­tion­ship and it is now un­der­stood that Madrid will cash in on their prized as­set next sum­mer.

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