Zidane: Ronaldo could return to Real Madrid
FRANCK FIFE / AFP / Getty

There's a chance Cristiano Ronaldo could leave Juventus and return to Real Madrid in the near future, manager Zinedine Zidane admitted Monday.

"Yes, it could be," Zidane, who coached Ronaldo at Madrid from 2016-2018, told Sky Sport Italia. "We know Cristiano, we know the person he is and everything he's done at Madrid, but he's a Juventus player now and we must respect Ronaldo and Juventus."

Ronaldo's future in Italy is far from certain after Juventus' latest elimination from the Champions League. The Portuguese star failed to score in the knockout round for the first time in 16 years as the Bianconeri fell to 10-man Porto in the round of 16.

There are also concerns about Juventus' financial situation. The club reported losses of €113.7 million for the first half of the fiscal year, and the board of directors conceded it could sell players to offset the residual effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

But sporting director Fabio Paratici sees Ronaldo as Juventus' "future."

"I have to smile. Never in my career would I have thought that I would have to discuss the value of Cristiano Ronaldo, whether it's a good deal or a bad deal," Paratici said.

"We are talking about a player who in 2020 scored 41 goals in 38 games with Juventus," Paratici added. "He is the top scorer in Serie A, he has won five Ballon d'Or, and I have lost count of the Champions League. With us, he has already won many titles, and it's a privilege to have him on our team.

"We hold on to him and enjoy him as much as possible. We are happy to have him with us. Does he represent the future of Juve? Without a doubt."

Ronaldo joined the Old Lady from Madrid in 2018 for a reported €100 million. He signed a contract until June 2022 worth a reported €30 million per season.

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Zidane: Ronaldo could return to Real Madrid
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