Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't want to go to Paris Saint-Germain. Or Manchester United. Or anywhere else. He wants to stay at Real Madrid until he retires.
"It's obvious I want to stay I here. I think I am going to retire at Real Madrid," Ronaldo told La Sexta's 'Jugones' show.
That's a nice sentiment and Ronaldo probably really feels that way right now. He has a great situation at the Bernabeu, where the club are back in the Champions League final and he has a manager he adores in Zinedine Zidane. Everything is right and there is no way that the superstar leaves the club this summer or probably even next summer. But there is a big difference between being happy and content now and retiring with the club.
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It may take a couple years, but you can bet on Ronaldo finishing his career away from the Bernabeu.
Ronaldo is still a terrific player and while he has slowed down a bit, the 31-year-old isn't just good enough for Real Madrid - he's still their best player. But that won't be the case one day. He will slow down and no longer be the Merengues' star.
At that point, Ronaldo could be a supporting player for Real Madrid, he could retire or he could find a new club. Ronaldo the supporting player, well, that's absurd. And retiring means giving up both the spotlight and the paycheck. That leaves the finding-a-new-club option, and it's the option he should pick.
Even if Ronaldo isn't good enough to star for Real Madrid when the time comes, he'll still be able to go to MLS and dominate. Maybe it's for NYCFC, or a battle between the LA Galaxy and LAFC for his services, even Beckham's Miami club, if it exists by then. Finding a club in MLS that wants him and will stump up the cash won't be difficult though, giving Ronaldo the chance to cash some more fat checks, live the high life and continue playing as a star (which Nike would also love).
If not MLS, you can bet that clubs in China and Qatar will chase him. He might even be able to have a go back at Sporting Lisbon (wages would be tough) and finish his career where it started.
Wherever Ronaldo lands, he will land somewhere. It won't be him riding into the sunset at Real Madrid, because whenever the time comes for him to leave the Bernabeu, there will be a fat check, a big market and a chance for a few more years in the spotlight waiting him. Unless you think it's a good idea to turn down tens of millions of dollars and the chance to become a hero in a new country, Ronaldo moving on one day is just about locked in.
So Ronaldo will keep playing at Real Madrid, as he should, and continue to write his name into club lore. But that's just for now. He'll move on eventually and finish his career somewhere else. Again, as he should.
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