Cristiano Ronaldo signed his new five-year contract at Real Madrid on Monday and declared – I’ve got 10 years left at the top. The 31-year-old has signed until 2021 but hinted in the presentation at the Santiago Bernabeu that he wanted to finish playing aged 41, declaring his latest deal his ‘penultimate’ contract and said 500 career goals for the club was not beyond him.
Ronaldo remains the club’s top earner with his extended deal although his £365,000-a-week wage is not set to change substantially. He is already their all-time top scorer and if he sees out his new deal he will have spent 12 seasons at the Bernabeu – one more than all-time greatest Alfredo Di Stefano.
He said: ‘This is a special day for me, extending my links with this club, the club of my heart. Renewing for five years is very special and let it be clear that this is not the last contract.
“I want to keep making history and I’m sure that in the next five years I will keep scoring goals and winning trophies with the best club in the world. I want to finish my career at this club but I want this to be my penultimate contract.”
Asked if he wanted to outdo Ferenc Puskas who played until he was 39 he said: “Forty-one,” and when asked about what he had left to give he added: “I think I have got 10 years left.”
Ronaldo was shown a film of some of his best goals for the club. There was also footage of his 2009 presentation at the Bernabeu in front of 80,000 expectant supporters.
None of them will have been disappointed by subsequent successes and Ronaldo admitted he had achieved more than even he could have dreamed.
He said: “I did not expect these figures in such a short time. But it comes from a lot of work from me and from the team. I want to keep making history. Five years is a long time but I want to go on learning and winning.”
He was asked if he tired of the criticism that comes when he does not score – criticism that he heard again at the weekend after failing to find the net in Real Madrid’s 3-0 win over Leganes.
He said: “To score or not score is not so important. When a player who is used to scoring doesn’t then he is a bit down but it’s not anxiety as some people call it. This is a very happy day for me. I won the European Cup and then the European Championship and now I have renewed for five years so it’s a great moment. It’s been a great year.”
As well as the promise of 10 more years of football he did not rule out breaking the 500 goals barrier before he hangs up his scoring boots. He is currently on 371 with the club.
“I never thought I would break Raul’s record,’ he said. ‘Five hundred goals is a possibility but I am not going to obsess over it. The most important thing is to keep improving and that the team wins. The best is yet to come.”