Dubai: Cristiano Ronaldo hints at retirement date during Globe Soccer Awards

The Portuguese, who turns 39 next month, says he still has the fire to beat the young guns like Manchester City's goal poacher Erling Haaland

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James Jose

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Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo: Globe Soccer Awards
Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo: Globe Soccer Awards

Published: Sat 20 Jan 2024, 12:05 PM

Last updated: Sat 20 Jan 2024, 4:48 PM

Football star Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed a date for a possible retirement from the sport, during the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai.

The Portuguese ace turns 39 next month and his loyal fans around the world and football aficionados are wondering how long the former Real Madrid and Manchester United star will carry on.

But only he knows the answer to the question and how much more of football is left in him.

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And during the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards and the Dubai International Sports Conference, Ronaldo hinted at possible retirement date.

"At the moment, when I finish, I don't know to be honest. But of course, (it) will be soon. Soon, I mean, 10 years more. But no, I'm joking," Ronaldo said with a laugh.

Ronaldo, who won the Best Middle East Player and the Fans Favourite Player awards at the Awards night in a glittering ceremony at Atlantis, said that criticism has motivated right through a stellar career and added that the still has the fire to beat the young guns like Manchester City's goal poacher Erling Haaland.

"I'm always dealing with that," Ronaldo said about the criticism he faces.

Tough journey

Ronaldo, who is often compared to his peer Argentine wizard Lionel Messi, said that his career journey has made his stronger.

"I've been a professional for 22 years. It is part of my journey. To be a better man, to be a better player, a better father. So it's good. I like when people doubt about me and I prove again that I can be successful. Last year, I had a little bit of a difficult journey but I'm glad that it happened because it made me feel more stronger. And you can see this year, I did a fantastic season. I was the best goal scorer. Imagine, to beat those animals, the young lions like Haaland, for example, with the goals. So, I'm proud. I'm 39 soon and I'm still looking good," said Ronaldo, who has scored 20 goals in 18 Saudi Pro League matches this season. He also has nine assists apart from three goals in four AFC Champions League games.

Meanwhile, the former Juventus ace also spoke very highly of the Saudi Pro League where he plies his trade with Al Nassr.

"To be honest, the Saudi League is not worse than the France league, in my opinion. In the France league, you have two, three teams with a good level. In Saudi, no. I think it is more competitive. They can say whatever they want. It is just my opinion. I played there one year so I know what I'm talking about. But right now, I think we (Saudi Pro League) are better than the France league," said Ronaldo, who also won the Maradona Award for Best Goalscorer, ahead of the Globe Soccer Awards.

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