Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo is hopeful of playing competitive football for another 10 years – until he is 41. The Portugese star, who is the front-runner for the Ballon d'Or this year, signed a contract to extend his stay at the Spanish club till 2021 on Monday calling it a “very important” day.
"I have renewed my contract for the next five years, but it will not be my last contract. I want to play on until I am 41,” the 36-year-old striker said.
Ronaldo, who won the UEFA Champions league this year with the club, hoped "to carry on making history with Real Madrid". Although they lost once again to rival Barcelona in the La Liga race, Real made no mistake in the Champions league as the defeated cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid in the final to take home the trophy.
Ronaldo's year only got better as he led the Portugal national team to the Euro 2016 title in a depleted field. The wins have put him clearly ahead in the race for this year's Ballon d'Or as he looks to close the gap between his tally of 2 and rival Lionel Messi's 4.
"Five years is a long time and I am going to give my best... I want to continue winning and I want to carry on learning," the forward said. "I have a long time ahead of me to enjoy at a professional level. I have 10 years left to play." Ronaldo has been booed of late at the Bernabeu by Real fans who had grown impatient at his goal-less streak. However, he insisted that he is very happy at the club. and expressed his desire to continue playing there for the long term.
"You never know; I am very happy in Madrid, my son is also happy seeing his father here, so are my family and friends... I don't know if I will still be here because the present is what matters, but I am always going to be connected to and identify with the club," he assured.