Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence from Real Madrid’s 2018-19 kit launch was not linked with a potential summer departure, Goal can confirm.
The Liga outfit revealed their 2018-19 kits on Tuesday, with Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema all appearing in the new strips.
There was a notable absentee, however, as Ronaldo was not involved in the grand reveal.
Ronaldo’s future in Madrid was called into doubt following Real’s Champions League victory on May 26, with the forward referring to his time with the the club in the past tense following their European triumph, and declined to explain further.
The 33-year-old then moved to comfort the Real support, however, speaking to thousands of assembled supporters in the capital as Zinedine Zidane’s side celebrated their third Champions League trophy in a row.
Ronaldo suggested he could continue at the club for at least another year, saying: “It’s a happy moment and we are very happy, too. Hala Madrid and nothing else! Thank you, guys. Until next year…”
Speculation intensified on Tuesday, however, as he was the only first-team player not to have his photograph posted on the club’s official website wearing the kit. Instead, an image of the new jersey was posted with Ronaldo’s name printed on the back.
There was a simple reason for Ronaldo not being involved in the shoot, however; the launch preparations took place on April 21, a date which the Portuguese was otherwise occupied.
Ronaldo is also under strict obligations from Nike, with whom he has a lucrative sponsorship deal with, and with Madrid’s kit suppliers being Adidas there are sometimes complications when it comes to the club using the Portguese in their marketing.