"That option has never been in his mind" - Georgina Rodriguez confirms Cristiano Ronaldo never considered joining Real Madrid's arch-rivals
Cristiano Ronaldo's partner Georgina Rodriguez revealed that the Portuguese forward never considered joining Real Madrid's arch-rivals Atletico Madrid. Ronaldo's future was up in the air after his mid-season exit from Manchester United.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner's contract with the Red Devils was terminated via mutual consent after he gave an explosive interview criticizing the club's facilities and manager Erik ten Hag.
After his exit from United, Ronaldo was linked with multiple clubs across Europe, including Real Madrid's city-rivals Atletico Madrid. However, Georgina Rodriguez recently claimed that joining Atletico was never a possibility for the 38-year-old. Speaking to El Hormiguero, Rodriguez said (via MARCA):
"That option has never been in his mind."
Cristiano Ronaldo tormented Atletico Madrid during his time at Real Madrid. Atleti even felt the forward's wrath after he joined Juventus. In 37 matches against the club, he scored 25 goals and provided nine assists.
Ronaldo eventually joined Al-Nassr as a free agent after an unceremonious end to his second Manchester United spell. He has since scored nine goals and has provided two assists in 10 matches for the Saudi Arabian club.
Speaking about the experience of living in Riyadh, Georgina Rodriguez said (via AS):
"It is a wonderful country. It is very safe, very familiar and they take great care of the women and their children. The people are very thoughtful and affectionate. A friend of mine did not have water in a hotel and decided to go to a booth. A man gave it to her paid. They are very thoughtful and generous people."
Cristiano Ronaldo admitted that he considered international retirement following 2022 FIFA World Cup exit
Cristiano Ronaldo's 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign was far from ideal. While his rival Lionel Messi won the tournament and was awarded the Golden Ball, Ronaldo was benched for both of Portugal's knockout matches.
Given his age, there were suggestions that the 38-year-old was on borrowed time at the top. Ronaldo recently admitted that he considered retirement after the World Cup.
Speaking ahead of Portugal's UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier against Liechtenstein, he said (via GOAL):
"I'm not going to lie. In our life, we have to put everything on the scale. We thought, we reflected, me and my family, but then we came to the conclusion that, despite the difficulties, we cannot throw in the towel. I was able to see situations at different angles. I learned a lot from that."
Cristiano Ronaldo, though, is back with his national team. The 38-year-old could become the highest-appearance maker in men's international football if he features against Liechtenstein on March 23.