Cristiano Ronaldo wants his rape case to be taken out of the public eye ... the soccer superstar is asking a judge to force the civil case against him to go to a private forum.
It's all in new court docs, obtained by TMZ Sports ... which show Ronaldo wants his lawsuit with his rape accuser to move from federal court to a private, independent arbitrator.
Ronaldo says because Kathryn Mayorga agreed to a settlement and a non-disclosure agreement in 2010, after accusing him of rape in 2009 ... she should be compelled to at least try to litigate the dispute in arbitration -- not court.
Ronaldo is asking a judge to to put a hold on all proceedings in the case in the meantime.
As we previously reported, Mayorga says she met CR7 at Rain Nightclub in the Palms hotel in June 2009, and after he invited her up to his penthouse suite to party, she claims he raped her.
She reached a settlement with Ronaldo shortly after, accepting $375,000 in exchange for her silence -- but, last year, she announced she wanted that agreement voided, claiming she was in no mental state to make that deal.
Ronaldo is calling BS on that claim in his new court filings, saying she WAS in the proper state ... adding that her family accompanied her to mediation meetings, and saying she "undoubtedly understood she was free to leave at any time and settlement was optional."
Unclear when a judge will rule on Ronaldo's motion to move the case ... but it shouldn't be long.
For his part, Ronaldo has denied ever raping Mayorga, saying in a statement last year, "Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in."
Las Vegas police reinvestigated the case in 2018 ... and the district attorney announced last month that they would not file criminal charges against the soccer star.