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Ronaldo, James must have final say on Real Madrid futures – Valderrama

cristiano ronaldo james rodriguez - cropped Real Madrid duo Cristiano Ronaldo (L) and James Rodriguez (source: Getty Images)

Colombia great Carlos Valderrama says Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez are the only ones who can decide their futures at Real Madrid.

Both attacking stars have been heavily linked with a move away from Santiago Bernabeu despite having claimed the double of LaLiga and Champions League titles in 2016-17.

James has long-been tipped for a move due to a lack of first-team football under Zinedine Zidane, while widespread reports say Ronaldo has informed Madrid that he wants to leave in the wake of a tax fraud complaint lodged against him by Spanish prosecutors.

Valderrama, who spent a season in LaLiga with Valladolid, feels money will not influence Ronaldo’s final decision and says any major club in Europe would jump at the chance to sign him.

“In football anything is possible and that’s Ronaldo’s decision,” he said prior to Portugal’s Confederations Cup opener against Mexico in Kazan. “It’s not a matter of money, it will be his decision. 

“If he wants to leave… anyone would love to have Ronaldo. I do not know what problems he had but I saw him happy and enjoying the Champions League, but those are decisions he will have to make.”

He added on James:  “It’s his decision. What I want is to see him on the pitch. He’s got the quality to play but he’s the one living the situation.

“I always tell him to enjoy the moment because it is not easy being a Champions League winner and he has been twice now. Those moments won’t come back. You have to enjoy it and then we will see what happens with his future. He should just enjoy the moment.”

Valderrama, whose 111 caps for Colombia is a national record, has also backed compatriot Radamel Falcao to continue his resurgent form and guide his country to the World Cup next year.

The Monaco striker, who missed the 2014 finals due to a knee injury, put a difficult two-year spell in England behind him last season to help his side to the Ligue 1 title and the semi-finals of the Champions League.

“He’s been fantastic. We have our goal machine back,” said Valderrama. “We want him to take things easy so he can make the World Cup. He deserves to be at the World Cup. If there is one player in the world that deserves to be at the World Cup for all he’s done, it’s Falcao.

“It was hard for him when he got injured. When you are unfit you cannot deliver. But he’s okay now and he will get his reward.”

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