Brazilian legend Ronaldo has warned Manchester City should face the music of a possible two-year ban from Europe, saying: "The rules are there to be respected."
And the 2002 World Cup and Golden Boot winner says City's incomplete Champions League tie against Real Madrid is still in the balance, claiming: “The match is still open.”
Speaking at a Santander Champions League event in Spain, Ronaldo was asked whether City coach Pep Guardiola's future could lie away from the Etihad if England's only survivors in the European Cup have their ban, for “serious” breaches of financial rules, ratified.
He said: “Who am I to know what Pep’s future will be? But the rules are there to be respected – that’s all I can say about that.
“For now, City have a commitment with Real Madrid – it will be a very tough match. Nothing yet has been decided, of course. I think the match is still open. It will be a fantastic game.”
City lead the last 16 tie 2-1 after Gabriel Jesus and Kevin de Bruyne's goals crowned an inspired fightback in the Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg before the coronavirus shutdown.
If Guardiola's men progress to the quarter-finals, they will face a mini-knockout tournament in August after UEFA voted to make the latter stages of the competition one-off ties in Portugal.
Ronaldo, who won La Liga in Spain with Real Madrid 17 years ago, said: “I don’t think the lack of fans will damage this new format and everybody will have enough time to practise.”
The tournament is due to take place in two stadiums in Lisbon from August 12-23.
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PSG, Atalanta, Atletico Madrid and Red Bull Leipzig have already booked their places in the last eight, while there are three other last-16 ties – as well as City's – still to be completed.
Bayern Munich and Lyon have first leg leads over Chelsea and Juventus respectively, while the tie between Napoli and Barcelona is currently all square.
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