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'CR7 not welcome' - Atletico Madrid fans show opposition to Ronaldo transfer with banner at friendly match

22:32 SAST 2022/07/27
The Liga club have been linked with a move for the wantaway Manchester United star, but supporters made their reservations clear

A group of Atletico Madrid supporters made their feelings regarding a rumoured move for Cristiano Ronaldo very clear during a pre-season friendly against Numancia on Wednesday. Ronaldo has told Manchester United he wants to leave in order to play Champions League football in 2022-23, and a return to Madrid with Atletico would fit that bill.

However a move for the former Real Madrid star has been called "practically impossible" - and now Atletico's supporters have voiced their displeasure.

How have Atletico's fans responded to Ronaldo rumours?

A banner displayed at the pre-season friendly against Numancia read "CR7 not welcome", referencing the common nickname used for Ronaldo.

The 37-year-old spent nine seasons starring at Atletico's local rivals, including scoring for Real Madrid in the 2014 Champions League final against the Rojoblancos.

Atletico's International Union of Fan Clubs (Union Internacional de Penas Atletico de Madrid) has also released a statement, warning of their displeasure should there be any truth to the Ronaldo rumours.

The statement read: "In light of the possibility of signing Cristiano Ronaldo, if it is more than a simple rumour without any basis, we express our absolute rejection of his hypothetical joining of our club.

"The aforementioned player represents the antithesis of the values that constitute the hallmarks of our Atleti, such as the effort, generosity, modesty and humility of those who want to defend our values.

"Even in the highly unlikely hypothetical case that a player in steep decline such as Cristiano Ronaldo could guarantee us a trophy, we wouldn't accept his signing. The sense of being a part of our Atletico feeling isn't within his reach, unfortunately for him, and as such he could never receive our affection or recognition.

"As such, we ask the club to reject his possible signing, if it has indeed been considered at any time."

Could Ronaldo really join Atletico?

The Portuguese star wants to leave Man Utd, having missed their pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia.

The issue is which club could fulfil all the requirements to sign him - whether financial, the ability to offer Champions League football, willingness to sign a player in his late 30s, plus the response of fans.

Chelsea and Bayern Munich have both also been linked, but both have ruled out signing the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.