The Portuguese superstar left the Santiago Bernabeu in 2018 after spending seven successful years at the biggest club in the world
Watford forward Emmanuel Dennis has confessed that he was displeased with the manner of Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from Real Madrid nine years after the Portuguese arrived in Spain from Manchester United.
After an astonishing 450 goals and 131 assists in 438 games in the colours of Real, Ronaldo completed a €117 million switch to Juventus in 2018.
Ronaldo had reportedly asked to leave the Bernabeu after winning four Champions Leagues, two La Liga titles, and two Copa del Reys. In the player’s statement, at the time, he believed the time had “come for a new cycle”.
But Dennis believed Ronaldo left because he had not been respected enough by Real Madrid and the fans.
The Nigerian international saw an ample opportunity to show his displeasure when he went with Club Brugge to the Bernabeu to face Real in a Champions League group match fixture in 2019.
Dennis struck a brace and celebrated like Ronaldo to remind the home fans what they were missing in the absence of the Portuguese megastar.
“I like Cristiano Ronaldo, but I didn’t like how he left Real Madrid,” Dennis told ABC when asked why he did the Ronaldo flip after scoring his now-famous double at the Bernabeu.
“He has been one of the best players in the history of Real Madrid, but he had the feeling that he had not been respected enough to leave.
“Before the game, I spoke to a friend and told him that if I scored I would celebrate like Cristiano, just to annoy the fans.
“He told me that I was crazy, but when I scored, I didn’t hesitate.”
Despite Dennis’ first-half goals, Real netted late in the second half to force a 2-2 draw.
Still, Dennis is convinced that his time inside one of the most famous stadiums in the world ranks alongside his debut with the Super Eagles as the finest nights of his life.
“It was a very big thing for me. I didn’t realize at the time how important it had been,” Dennis said.
“It was after the game, when I saw the press, the social networks, the messages that they sent me, that I said ‘wow, this has been very brutal’. It also helped that I did Cristiano’s celebration in one of the goals.
It’s crazy that you then play there. It was one of the best nights of my career. Being at the Bernabeu is, along with representing the national team, the best feeling there is.”
After an eye-catching spell at Watford, Dennis could be on the way to London Stadium after West Ham opened negotiations with the Nigeria international.