‘When you have Ronaldo you should never let him go’ – Castro questions Real Madrid’s transfer call from 2018

Click here to watch it live with fuboTVfuboTV
Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus 2019-20 Champions LeagueGetty Images

Real Madrid’s decision to sell Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus in 2018 has been questioned by Luis Castro, with the Shakhtar Donetsk boss saying “when you have Cristiano on your team you should never let him go”.

The Blancos stunned the football world when agreeing to offload the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to the Serie A champions.

After nine record-setting years in the Spanish capital, an all-time great was freed to take on a new challenge in Italy.

Real were always going to find it difficult to counter the loss of a talismanic figure and are still seeking inspiration in the final third of the field – with Eden Hazard among those yet to step up and fill the void.

Castro believes a heavyweight outfit at Santiago Bernabeu should have done more to keep Ronaldo on their books, with it impossible to replace a man who plundered 450 goals and landed 15 trophies while in Madrid.

The Shakhtar coach told Marca of his fellow Portuguese: “When you have Cristiano on your team you should never let him go. Never.

“We are talking about the best, the most effective footballer in the world, a machine, a machine of sacrifice.”

Castro is preparing to line up against a Ronaldo-less Real in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The Blancos remain a force to be reckoned with, as the reigning La Liga title holders, but they will have regrets when it comes to sanctioning the sale of a man that many consider to be the finest footballer to have ever played the game.

“I do not like to compare. But yes, for me he is the best,” Castro added. “Cristiano has a story behind him that is exemplary. 

“He moved, at just 11 years of age, to Lisbon to be a footballer, leaving his home. Cristiano is someone that has risen alone, with a unique determination.

“For me he is an example for all children. People criticise Ronaldo too much. 'What if he does this, what if he spends so much money on this or that?'

“Yet he responds on the pitch every game, being aware of where he comes from. 

“The day they make a Cristiano movie and people see where he really comes from, how he became a footballer, he will be valued much more.”

Ronaldo is currently taking in a period of self-isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 and will not be involved in Juve’s European opener against Dynamo Kiev.