Cristiano Ronaldo Hints at Retirement: 'Maybe I Can Leave My Career Next Year'

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2019

TURIN, ITALY - AUGUST 14:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus greets the fans prior to the Pre-season Friendly match betewwen Juventus A v Juventus B on August 14, 2019 in Villar Perosa near Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)
Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo has said he could retire "next year" but also indicated he may continue playing into his 40s.  

The Juventus superstar is now 34, but he has shown few signs of being on the wane and starred in his debut season with the Old Lady in 2018-19, netting 21 league goals in a triumphant Serie A campaign.

Juve kick off their new season with a visit to Parma on Saturday. Ronaldo will again be crucial for Juventus' prospects in 2019-20, particularly in their bid to win a first UEFA Champions League since 1996.

But the former Manchester United winger has hinted the new campaign could potentially be his last, per TVI (h/t Goal's Dejan Kalinic): 

"I don't think about that [retiring]. 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."

Given his age, it should be unsurprising that Ronaldo is potentially considering retirement.

His persistently impressive form, though, is indicative of a player who still has a great deal more to offer, and it would be a big shock if he called time on his playing days at the end of 2019-20.

There is little the five-time Ballon d'Or winner has not achieved during his remarkable career.

He has won the Champions League five times—once with United, four times with Real Madrid—and he has six league title medals from three different countries.

Ronaldo is also one of the most prolific goalscorers of all time and is a UEFA European Championship and UEFA Nations League winner with Portugal. 

He is also aware of his historic achievements, per TVI (h/t Kalinic): "Are there any soccer players who have more records than me? I don't think there are any footballers who have more records than me."

But there has been little to indicate he will hang up his boots any time soon.

He only joined Juve a year ago and is likely desperate to add a sixth European title to his trophy cabinet in order to match Francisco Gento's record haul of six.

Ronaldo's contract at Juve runs to 2022, and it would be a surprise were he not to, at the very least, see that out. 

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