Cristiano Ronaldo has hinted for the first time he is thinking about hanging up his boots – but he has sent a confusing update as to when that actually might be.
The Juventus forward is regarded as one of, if not the, best players of his generation and is a five-time Champions League winner, having won the competition once with Manchester United and four times with Real Madrid.
The Portuguese star is also Real’s all-time leading scorer and remains the top goalscorer in Champions League history, having also led his country to glory at the 2016 European Championships.
Now 34, Ronaldo, in an interview with TV1, said he may quit as soon as summer 2020, but in the same breathe also said he could play on into his 40’s.
Asked about calling it quits, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner said: “I don’t think about that.
“Maybe I can leave my career next year … but I can also play up to 40 or 41.
“I don’t know. What I always say is to enjoy the moment. The gift is excellent and I have to continue to enjoy it.”
Ronaldo finished as Juve’s top scorer last season with 21 goals in the league which were key factors as the Old Lady defended their Serie A title.
Ronaldo has now win titles in three different countries and is seen by many, alongside Lionel Messi, as the greatest of all time.
However, Ronaldo has been quick to highlight the differences between them both, saying: “The difference with Messi is that I played for several clubs and won the Champions League with different clubs,” said Ronaldo in his DAZN documentary ‘The Making Of’.
“I was top scorer in the Champions League six seasons in a row. There aren’t many players who won five Champions League trophies, so this is why I feel that I can identity myself with this tournament.
“Messi is an excellent player who will be remembered not just for his Ballon d’Or wins, but also for having improved – like me – year after year.
“I wake up every morning with the idea in my head of training with the objective of achieving something more, not just to earn money.
“Thank God, I don’t lack money, so what I want to earn is a place in the history of football.”