Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said Cristiano Ronaldo will return to the Santiago Bernabeu one day, although he did not specify whether Ronaldo will do so as a player or to assume another role within the club.
Ronaldo, 33, ended his nine-year spell at Madrid in the summer to join Juventus following a reported rift with Perez over a new contract.
Sources at the time told ESPN's Gabriele Marcotti that Madrid were willing to match Juventus' gross salary offer of around €55 million annually to convince Ronaldo to stay at the Bernabeu. However, Ronaldo still opted to leave, with Madrid letting him go to Juventus for €100m even though he had a €1 billion release clause in his contract.
"I would have given him a hug [if he had attended FIFA's The Best awards] because, as I said [on Sunday], the Real Madrid fans are very proud to have counted with Cristiano for nine seasons," Perez said in an appearance on "El Chiringuito."
"He is the worthy successor of Alfredo Di Stefano, he is the player who has scored more goals in the history of Madrid, and I think that he is one of those players who will be in the hearts of the Real Madrid fans and will [be remembered] from generation to generation. He is one of those that one day will come back."
Ronaldo decided not to attend FIFA's The Best awards on Monday in London, where Madrid's Luka Modric ended was named FIFA's top player over his former teammate.
Perez said Modric deserved the award ahead of Ronaldo because he helped Madrid to their third consecutive Champions League title before leading Croatia to the World Cup final.
"There's no question that Modric has been the best player this year, both for his club team, Real Madrid, as well as with the Croatian national team," Perez told Los Blancos TV.
"Everyone clapped in recognition of his excellent season when his name was announced. For us, who placed our faith in him many years ago, this is the reward for many years of fine football, hard work, quality and effort, and I've only got words of satisfaction."
Perez also expressed his satisfaction at seeing other Madrid players recognised as Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Marcelo were named to the FIFPro World XI and former Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois was voted the best goalkeeper.
"I've said it in the past -- when people say that we have to have the best players in the world, I always say that we've already got them here," Perez said. "No club has had 11 players nominated for these awards. It's recognition that we've got the best player in the world, which is something we can say with complete humility."
Information from ESPN FC's Eduardo Fernandez-Abascal has been used in this report.