Real Madrid CF coach Zinedine Zidane has added fuel to the fire that has been blowing up smoke about the possibility of a Cristiano Ronaldo comeback.

While outrageous reports about player transfers are nothing new, Zidane has always ben tight-lipped about such matters. However, in a rare candid moment during a recent interview, Zidane made the uncharacteristic choice of confirming that he is open to the possibility of welcoming the Portuguese star back to the Santiago Bernabeú.

While talking to the media ahead of the second leg of Real Madrid's last-16 clash against Atalanta in the UEFA Champions League, the Frenchman opened up about the reports surrounding Ronaldo.

"It could happen. We know him and I've had the good fortune to coach him," Zidane said, as quoted by Marca. "He's an impressive forward, we'll see what happens in the future. He's a Juventus player right now."

Indeed, Ronaldo is currently playing for Italian side Juventus FC. He moved to Turin in 2018, just months after he lifted the UEFA Champions League trophy alongside Zidane. Juventus had hoped that he will help bring the coveted European Cup to Turin, but it has so far been elusive.

Last week, Juventus was booted out of the Champions League by Porto, leading to speculations that the higher ups have lost their patience and are ready to let Ronaldo go.

Spanish media outlets have been all over the speculations, with some even reporting that Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes, has already spoken with Real Madrid management. However, conflicting reports have also said that the team isn't interested in the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, considering the fact that they are already asking their current roster to accept pay cuts.

While Florentino Perez hasn't said anything about the situation, it came as a surprise that Zidane opened up about the possibility. His reaction is justified, given how much confidence he has shown to the players he has favoured in the past. After all, Ronaldo is Real Madrid's all-time record goalscorer with 450 goals in 438 appearances.

Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane AFP / JORGE GUERRERO