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Wed Apr 16 09:23:51 SAST 2014

Ronaldo wants to end career with Real

Sapa-AFP | 06 June, 2012 08:560 Comments
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo jokes during a training session at Luz stadium in Lisbon June 4, 2012, in preparation for the Euro 2012
Image by: Rafael Marchante / REUTERS

Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo wants to stay with the club for the rest of his career, he said in an interview published in Marca magazine on Tuesday.

“I want to end my career at Real,” said the star, who joined the nine-time European champions in 2009 from Manchester United.

"I’d stay here, I’d sign up today for 10 (more) years and finish my career here. I want to stay, but that’s something that is dependent on other people.

“I am enjoying the best moment of my life. I’m very stable both psychologically and physically,” said Ronaldo, who scored at will last season — his 46 La Liga strikes bettered only by Barcelona wizard Lionel Messi’s amazing tally of 50.

“I want to carry on like that and enjoy much more alongside all madridistas, as the truth is that in recent months I have felt an evolution in that sense — a great connection with the fans.” 

Now Ronaldo hopes to win the Ballon d’Or and feels confident he can take the accolade from Messi, who has won it for the past three years.

“I am not the one who votes and everyone has an opinion,” he said.

“But I sincerely think I am well-placed to win it or at least be in with a good shout. I had a phenomenal season. For me it is clear that I and the other Real Madrid players would deserve to be nominated.”

Ronaldo, who won the Champions League with United in 2008 but has been unable to end Real’s decade-long drought in the competition — they lost to Bayern Munich in last season’s semi-finals — also said he hoped to produce even better form next season.

“I am going to strain every sinew to do as well again or even better. I could hardly score more goals but I could, for example, produce more assists. Every time it’s difficult, but I’m always trying to improve,” he said.

Ronaldo welcomed the fact that his compatriot Jose Mourinho had extended his contract through to 2016 after landing the Liga title in his second season as coach.

“A club such as Real Madrid needs to have a top coach like Mou. It seems evident to me that Real Madrid without Mourinho would not win as many titles as it does with him in the dug-out.” 

Looking ahead to the European Championship with Portugal, drawn in a difficult group with Germany, Holland and Denmark, he forecast an “intense” pool phase.

“But I am absolutely up for this championship and will be there in fine physical form,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting out there.”

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