Cristiano Ronaldo Comments on Potentially Playing in MLS

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2016

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring his side's 5th goal during a Champions League group A soccer match between Real Madrid and Malmo at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Francisco Seco/Associated Press

Some Major League Soccer supporters are likely tired of clubs' continued reliance on aging European stars to drive interest, but the possibility of landing Cristiano Ronaldo is bound to intrigue even the harshest critic of the league's designated player rule.

In an interview with Daniel Riley for GQ, the Real Madrid star spoke about his opinion of MLS and whether he'd ever consider playing in the league:

I know that many players move there. I think it's becoming better and better. It's growing. I think it's good. It's good for me and young players that maybe one day we want to move there. So it's good that football—'soccer'—grows there.

[...]

I mean, what's happening there is great, it's fantastic—maybe in the future will be a good chance for me to play there. You never know, but it's something interesting. I consider it, of course, because as I've said, soccer there has become better and better, so why not? I think that this is maybe going to be possible.

Ronaldo has already gone on record saying his "dream is to end [his] career at Real Madrid," per Carlos Carpio and Pablo Polo of Spanish paper Marca. Speaking on the Jonathan Ross Show in November (via ESPN FC), he also played down the likelihood he'd leave Europe before his career ended.   

"In my mind I want to finish in the top level, I want to finish with dignity so in a good club," Ronaldo said. "It doesn't mean that to go USA or Qatar or Dubai is not good but I don't see myself [going there]."

The 30-year-old Portuguese winger may already have the framework in place for a move stateside down the road.

Last March, Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl reported Ronaldo preferred heading to MLS when his current contract with Real Madrid ends in 2018, which would allow the league to avoid what would be a massive transfer fee in order to pry him away from the Santiago Bernabeu. A little over a month later, Wahl reported Ronaldo's destination would be Los Angeles, be it with the LA Galaxy or the expansion Los Angeles Football Club franchise.

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In the event Ronaldo would ever become something of a free agent in world football, MLS would have heavy competition from across the globe to secure his signature.

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