Football

Ronaldo: Retirement at Real not up to me

Cristiano Ronaldo insisted he wants to finish his playing career at Real Madrid after bagging the winner that saw the Spanish giants win the Club World Cup yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Ronaldo scored with a second-half free-kick as Real pipped Gremio 1-0 to become the first team to retain the world title. In the process, he also became the competition's all-time top scorer with seven goals.

A third Club World Cup in four years brings Real level with rivals Barcelona as the most successful side in the competition's history.

This is also the fifth trophy that Zinedine Zidane's men have won this year, adding to the La Liga, Champions League, Uefa Super Cup and Spanish Super Cup titles.

When asked if he planned to retire at Real, Ronaldo said: "I would like to, but things don't depend on me. What depends on me is what I do on the pitch.

"I am not the one who runs the club, that is for those in charge. My job is on the pitch and I am doing it well, the rest I can't control."

When asked if Ronaldo, who signed a new deal to 2021 with the club just over a year ago, should be rewarded with another new contract, Zidane said: "Obviously, but at the right moment.

"For us, it is fundamental Cristiano stays. He is at his club, his home and no one can do what he keeps doing so, hopefully, he stays here until he retires."

Ronaldo has smashed Real's club records since joining from Manchester United in 2009 and is way out in front as their all-time top scorer with 434 goals in 414 appearances.

He also picked up his fifth Ballon d'Or earlier this month to match Barcelona rival Lionel Messi's record mark and Real president Florentino Perez hailed Ronaldo as the heir to club legend Alfredo di Stefano, who lead Real to win the first five European Cups.

"He is the best without doubt. Not just for his talent or his technique but also his ambition, his effort, his leadership, it is difficult to find players like Cristiano," Perez told Real Madrid TV.

"I watched Alfredo di Stefano when I was a kid, he is the successor to him. This is a different Real, but Cristiano has marked an era."

Ronaldo claimed that he was the best player in history after picking up his latest Ballon d'Or and backed up that bold statement when asked about comparisons to di Stefano.

"I don't have to keep speaking constantly about myself, I continue to believe what I said two weeks ago at the Ballon d'Or," the 32-year-old said.

"I am a very confident person and the numbers don't lie. The numbers speak for themselves.

"I remain very motivated to keep winning things at a collective and individual level." - WIRE SERVICES

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