Football NewsCristiano Ronaldo Announces his Intention to Retire
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As Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his 38th birthday, it is reasonable to say that things are looking quite different for the veteran compared to when we were in the same spot one year ago at this time.

A year ago, Ronaldo was getting ready for Manchester United’s trip to Burnley. The day before, Ronaldo had missed a penalty kick as United were rocked by Middlesbrough in the FA Cup. Ronaldo’s failure came the day after United had been stunned by Middlesbrough. On that particular day, he did not score, but between that point and the end of the season, he amassed the most points for his team and recorded two hat tricks, making him the leading scorer.

Fast forward to February 2023, and Ronaldo is not only no longer playing for Manchester United at Old Trafford, but he has also left Europe entirely. The Portugal international has had a difficult time adjusting to life at his new club, Al-Nassr, and is now at a crossroads in his career where he must make some significant choices.

Prior to Ronaldo’s departure from Manchester United in November, when his contract was cancelled by mutual consent, the Portuguese forward was in the midst of one of the worst goal-scoring seasons of his whole career. He had scored just three times for Erik ten Hag’s team before Portugal’s loss in the quarter-finals of the World Cup, and he was unable to end his wait for a World Cup knockout goal in the process.

Ronaldo’s relocation to Saudi Arabia was expected to be the catalyst for this transition; nevertheless, not everything has gone according to plan. Both in his first game in the league, which was against Ettifaq, and in the Saudi Super Cup semi-finals, where Al-Nassr was eliminated, he failed to score for either team.

In his third match, which was played against Al-Fateh, the winner of the Ballon d’Or five times over squandered an easy chance to score. He did end up getting on the scoresheet, but not before he forced his teammate Anderson Talisca to take penalty kicks in the same game so that they could tie the score.

Ronaldo signed a contract with his new team that will keep him there until 2025 when he made the transfer. The enormous sums of money won’t have been a problem for him, with claimed estimates of 173 million pounds per year, and it also enables him to continue working until he is 40 years old.

In an interview with Piers Morgan that was broadcast not long before the start of the World Cup, Ronaldo discussed his plans for the future. There, the veteran laid out his ideas, and the number 40 emerged as the enchanted number that had been hidden all along.

He stated, “I want to play two years more, three years more,” which led many to believe that he will not still be active when the next World Cup is held in 2026. Therefore, the most that might pass is two or three years. I would like to retire at the age of 40. I believe that the age of forty will be a good age… But I can’t say for sure because I can’t see into the future. There are times when you plan something specific for your life, but as I’ve said many times before, life is unpredictable. And you can never be sure of what’s going to take place.”

When it comes to deciding how Ronaldo will bring his career to a close, the following year could play a significant role in the outcome of that decision. He may still write his own finale, whether that means going out on top or in the shadows, with a bang or with a whimper, with a flourish or with a cry.