Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta says the time has come for Cristiano Ronaldo to consider leaving Real Madrid.
Ronaldo has hit 13 goals for Madrid this season, but has struggled in recent games and is out of form ahead of the Clasico clash at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
“I’m not surprised by everything that’s happening,” Laporta told reporters at a padel event for former players and staff of Real and Barca in the capital on Thursday.
“Cristiano is a player who is at the point in his career when he should consider other options. The market is strong at the moment and there is a lot of money in the Premier League. He has been at Real Madrid for many years and perhaps he should look at other avenues. At his age, it’s the right time.”
Laporta led Barca between 2003 and 2010, a period that became the most successful in the club’s history and one that laid the foundations for the team’s current success. And he believes the Blaugrana will have the edge in the Clasico.
“I think Barcelona will win because we have the better team,” he said. “At the Santiago Bernabeu we have always played good games. It will be a great game and we will win. Barcelona arrive in better shape and our forwards are on form.”
Asked if Lionel Messi will return on Saturday after almost two months out, the 53-year-old said: “I don’t have information on that, but if he feels good, he’ll play.”
And he added: “Neymar is happy playing with Messi. For me, he’s at Cristiano’s level. There’s a good atmosphere in the dressing room and you can tell.”