Cristiano Ronaldo: I want to finish my career at Real Madrid - but it is not up to me

The Portuguese forward reflects on what is next for him after his free-kick won the Fifa Club World Cup for the Primera Liga champions with a 1-0 win over Gremio.

Cristiano Ronaldo, centre, celebrates with his Real Madrid teammates after they won their fifth trophy of 2017 by beating Gremio 1-0 in the Fifa Club World Cup final in Abu Dhabi. Karim Sahib / AFP
Cristiano Ronaldo, centre, celebrates with his Real Madrid teammates after they won their fifth trophy of 2017 by beating Gremio 1-0 in the Fifa Club World Cup final in Abu Dhabi. Karim Sahib / AFP

Cristiano Ronaldo reiterated his desire to retire at Real Madrid after sealing another piece of history for his team at the Fifa Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi – but added that his future at the Bernabeu “does not depend on him”.

The Portuguese forward, 32, scored the only goal of the final at Zayed Sports City on Saturday as Madrid defeated Brazil’s Gremio 1-0 to become the first side to retain the title.

Having in 2017 won also the Primera Liga, the Uefa Champions League, the Spanish Super Cup and the Uefa Super Cup, Zinedine Zidane’s men became the first Madrid team to capture five trophies in a calendar year.

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Ronaldo was integral to all of their success, and scored in both the Club World Cup semi-final and final to bring up another record of his own.

He has now found the net seven times in the event, more than any of player. Also, his four tournament titles – Manchester United in 2008, Madrid 2014, 2016 and this year – has been matched by only teammate Toni Kroos.

Speaking after being awarded man of the match against Gremio, Ronaldo said: “I am very happy because we own a trophy we really wanted. Madrid has never won five trophies in a year. We are very happy, this is very natural.

“Obviously, I am very happy to know I got another record as a top scorer in the Club World Cup. I talk on the pitch - that is my work. I always try to give my best and people enjoy my football.

“I want to enjoy and keep on motivating myself to keep on playing, train and enjoy football. That is what I enjoy the most.”

The Club World Cup victory continues a fine December for Ronaldo, who was last week awarded a fifth Ballon d’Or to draw level with Barcelona rival Lionel Messi’s record. Ronaldo said then that he considered himself to be the best player in history.

Since joining Madrid from United in 2010, he has become the club’s all-time leading scorer with 420 goals in 414 appearances.

"I do not have to constantly talk about myself,” the Portugal captain said. “I keep on thinking the same things I said when I received the Ballon d’Or.

"I am confident and my numbers do not deceive; they speak for themselves. I feel very well and very strong. I remain motivated to win things at the collective and individual level, to keep on my career as a football player. I like to win trophies the most.”

Ronaldo has four years remaining on his current contract, but is regularly linked with a move away from Madrid, possibly back to United or to Paris Saint-Germain.

Asked on Saturday if he would see out his career at the Bernabeu, he said: “If it is possible, yes, I would like to retire in Madrid. But things don’t depend on me. What depends on me is what I do on the pitch.

“When I say ‘possible’, I do not make the decisions in the club. The other things don’t depend on me.”

Zidane added: "Cristiano is a key player and we want him to stay with us until the end. He is in his club, in his home and what he has done, no one else is going to do it. So I hope he continues like this until he retires."

Published: December 17, 2017 08:47 AM

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