Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo’s former club Real Madrid have sued a Portuguese newspaper after it published a report claiming that they had forced the superstar footballer to pay off a woman who had accused him of rape.

Ronaldo, who left Real for Juventus, is accused of raping Kathryn Mayorga, in Las Vegas, in 2009. This incident had allegedly taken place just before Ronaldo's shift from Manchester United to Real.

Portuguese newspaper  Correio da Manha claimed that Real had encouraged the forward to pay Mayorga to prevent her from making the accusation public, but the club strongly denied this allegation.

In a statement released on Thursday, they stated: "Real Madrid can today declare that the club has initiated legal action against the Portuguese newspaper 'Correio da Manha' for their publishing of categorically false information in an effort to massively damage the reputation of this club."

They further stated that Real had “absolutely no knowledge of any of the information that was passed by the newspaper with regard to the player Cristiano Ronaldo, and thus the club was unable to take action on a matter of which it had no notion”.

“A total rectification of the situation from the aforementioned newspaper is demanded by Real Madrid," it added.

Mayorga said that she was paid $375,000 by Ronaldo to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). However, she has since made the accusation public, stating the NDA deemed invalid.