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River - Boca: Cristiano Ronaldo not joining Messi at Bernabéu

Lionel Messi is to attend the Copa Libertadores final at the Bernabéu, but Cristiano has finally opted against accepting the RFEF's invitation.

Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona - Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - December 23, 2017 Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo helps Barcelona’s Lionel Messi get back to his feet REUTERS/Sergio Perez

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In the end, Lionel Messi will not be joined by Cristiano Ronaldo in the Bernabéu presidential box when River Plate face Boca Juniors on Sunday.

Cristiano turns down RFEF invitation to River-Boca

Sources close to Cristiano have told AS that the Portuguese, who moved from Real Madrid to Juventus in the summer, has respectfully declined the Spanish Football Federation's (RFEF) invitation to the Copa Libertadores final second leg.

"It's still too soon for him to return to the Bernabéu," they explained, revealing that the wounds opened up by his July exit from the LaLiga club are yet to heal over.

Real relationship sees Ronaldo stay away from Bernabéu

Had the 33-year-old forward decided to go to the final, it would have been his first time back at Madrid's home stadium since he left. "However, his relationship with the club has been adversely affected by his departure to Juventus," his camp told AS, adding that this has led him to opt against attending.

RFEF had hoped to send "wonderful message"

Earlier, the RFEF had said to AS: "The presence of Cristiano and Messi would be a wonderful message for football, and it would put both players in a setting where they deserve to be."


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