Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo confirmed Tuesday that he broke up with his long-time girlfriend Irina Shayk, according to The Associated Press (AP). Rumors about the couple's break up started last week after the Russian model did not accompany Ronaldo when he went to pick up the FIFA Ballon d’Or award.
"After dating for five years, my relationship with Irina Shayk has come to an end," Ronaldo, who won the FIFA award for the second consecutive year, told The Associated Press (AP), in a written statement, adding: "We believed it would be best for both of us to take this step now."
The Portuguese midfielder for Real Madrid did not elaborate on the reason for the split, but according to AP, the footballer was making the statement to end speculation on the couple's private lives. The two have been together for the past five years.
Ronaldo has a 4-year-old son named Cristiano Junior, but the identity of the mother has been closely guarded so far.
According to a Friday report by Daily Mail, Shayk had refused to attend a surprise birthday bash arranged for Ronaldo’s mother Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro, which led to the split. Last week, Shayk reportedly also unfollowed Ronaldo on Twitter, adding to rumors of the couple’s split.
“Cristiano wanted to surprise his mum and as he spent Christmas with Irina in Dubai, he had planned to be with his mum on her birthday, but Irina didn't want to go. They had such a big row that he ended up spending New Years Eve alone with his son,” a source said, according to Daily Mail, which cited Correio da Manha, a Portuguese newspaper. “Irina mouthed off about Dolores and Ronaldo took sides with him mum. It was the straw that broke the camel's back because they had hadn't been getting on well in the last few months,” the source added.
"Dolores thinks Irina wasn't the right woman for Ronaldo's son," the source said, according to Daily Mail, adding: "She wanted someone who would, in the future, assume the role of mum for Cristiano Jr. That wasn't a priority for Irina."