Perez pays tribute to Ronaldo and Zidane

Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane departed Real Madrid in pre-season, and Florentino Perez has now saluted the club greats.

Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid   -  Getty Images

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has paid tribute to Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane following their departures from the club.

Zidane guided Madrid to an unprecedented three successive Champions League titles in less than three years at the helm, opting to step down a few days after completing the hat-trick in May.

Ronaldo ended a nine-year stay in Madrid in July, joining Juventus for €112million after becoming the club's record goalscorer.

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There was plenty of speculation surrounding Ronaldo's departure, with reports claiming it came about as Madrid was unwilling to bow to his demand for a new contract.

Since Ronaldo's exit, further stories suggested that Perez and the forward had a strained relationship for several years. Yet, the Madrid president recognises the impact the Ballon d'Or holder had on the club.

Speaking at the club's annual assembly, Perez said: "There are two figures that I want to refer to. The worthy successor of [Alfredo] Di Stefano and the club's top scorer, Cristiano."

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"During nine seasons, he was a benchmark and his trajectory will be counted from generation to generation. He is an example for all those who wear the Real Madrid shirt and those who have the dream of doing so in the future. Thank you very much, Cristiano."

"Another of our great references always is and will be Zidane. As a coach, he has entered history as a giant of Real Madrid."

"He won nine titles in less than three years, with three Champions Leagues. Zidane is Real Madrid, and he and Cristiano know that this is their house forever. Thanks, Zizou."

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