Laporta: Ronaldo the right age to leave

Former Barcelona President Joan Laporta believes Cristiano Ronaldo should consider leaving Real Madrid as the circumstances are right.

Laporta was speaking to Onda Cero in advance of Saturday’s Clasico at Santiago Bernabeu and was asked about speculation linking Ronaldo with a transfer.

“It doesn’t surprise me. I think Cristiano is a player at the point in his career when he should consider all these issues,” AS reports Laporta replying.

“The market is very good at the moment with all the money that has been injected into the Premier League and maybe other patrons will be encouraged.

“He’s spent many years in Madrid and maybe he’ll find another path. Players look for the best contracts. The market to move is there and he’s the right age for it.”

Madrid remained the discussion as Laporta was asked about both the style Rafa Benitez has brought to the club and his role as Madrid Coach.

“Do I like how Madrid play? I prefer how Barca play. We still play with two touches,” he noted.

“The constant changes of Coach make teams reset and need time. We arrive as a better team and our forwards are on a roll.

“I won’t tell Madrid what to do [about Benitez] but what worked for me is to stand by the Coach. In a delicate moment I stuck with [Frank] Rijkaard, though it was unpopular. Then I did the same with [Pep] Guardiola.

“All Coaches know about football and if you give them confidence they go forward with results.

“There are great players at Real Madrid who could play at Barca but everyone is fine where they are. James Rodriguez is a player of great quality. In fact, I don’t think Madrid have seen the best of him.”

It’s been reported Madrid will prevent Barcelona fans entering the Bernabeu with pro-Catalan independence Estelada flags, and Laporta offered his take on the decision.

“I don’t think they’ll remove [the flags]. It’s well known Barca fans always go with Esteladas and Senyeras,” Laporta pointed out.

“I don’t think it’ll happen because it’s a feeling we have in Catalonia. It’s not an issue that concerns me because I’ve given up politics but I’m sure Madrid will be respectful.

“Tebas did say it was right but he’s a Madrid fan. I don’t think there’ll be a conflict with democracy.”

Tags Cristiano Ronaldo Joan Laporta