Cristiano Ronaldo has insisted he is ready to retire at Real Madrid and is willing to sign a contract extension, eliminating the possibility of returning to Manchester for the final years of his career.
The 31-year-old’s current contract is due to expire in 2018, but the forward is confident has current deal will be extended, claiming that it would be a smart option for Real Madrid to secure his future services after the Champions League final.
Ronaldo has been linked with both Paris Saint-Germain and a potential return to Manchester United amidst rumours that he is unsettled at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Clearly happy to entertain speculation regarding his future, Ronaldo previously hinted that he was open to a switch to Major League Soccer, but the Portugal international is now ready to put the rumours to bed and see out his career in the Spanish capital.
Speaking on La Sexta’s ‘Jugones’ show, Ronaldo remarked:
“It’s obvious I want to stay here. I think I am going to retire at Real Madrid,
“Renewal after the Champions League final? Let’s see. Real Madrid would be smart if they extend my contract.
“I am happy at Real Madrid. I can see no club better than this one.”
Ronaldo is by no means the first player to express a desire to retire at Madrid, though in reality it’s a hard proposition to execute – both Madrid legends, Iker Casillas and Raul wanted to end their playing days at the Bernabeu.
For Casillas, accepting that he was no longer the first choice keeper and would have to see out his playing days on the Madrid bench if he wished to stay, proved to be a stumbling block. The former Spanish number one couldn’t accept the reality that Navas had surpassed him; to Casillas’ surprise, he wasn’t immortal. No one forced him to move to Porto, if he had accepted his place as second choice keeper he could have stayed and retired at the club.
The same rule applied to Raul, who wanted to be a guaranteed starter despite his best playing days being long behind him. A side contesting the Champions League couldn’t realistically start him over Higuain or Benzema.
Will Ronaldo ultimately suffer the same fate? Cristiano’s physical conditioning is simply immense, despite his age he is still posting phenomenal figures and supplying Real with match-winning performances. However, if Ronaldo suffers a dip in form like that of Casillas or Raul, of course he’ll need to accept that he’ll play less if he wishes to retire at the club.