Ronaldo showing no signs of slowing down
Source: Cristiano Ronaldo via Facebook
Cristiano Ronaldo turned 33 years old in the 2017-18 La Liga campaign, an age at which footballers begin to enter their twilight years. Some of the best players in the world have started to wane at this age, and often move on to play in different leagues with lower intensity. Xavi, for instance, went to play in Qatar at 35, and 33-year-old Andrés Iniesta will leave Barcelona at the end of the season. Ronaldo will surely be an exception to this rule, though, and shows no signs of slowing down. Just how many years does the Portuguese legend have left in him?
Despite Real Madrid enduring a poor La Liga campaign this season and letting Barcelona run away at the top of the table, Ronaldo has put in another excellent showing. The former Manchester United man breached the 25-goal mark yet again, a feat he has managed in every single season he has played in the Spanish capital. He has bagged a goal every 89 minutes on average, which is only bettered by Ballon d’Or rival Lionel Messi, who has scored every 87 minutes.
Ronaldo remains a crucial figure at the Santiago Bernabéu and has had a major impact in the Champions League. In fact, the 33-year-old’s sheer will to win and drive helped propel Real into the final of the competition. Top scorer in the tournament, Ronaldo bagged 15 goals in 12 games, amounting to an effort every 72 minutes. No other player in the competition came close.
Zinedine Zidane will already be worrying about how to replace one of the greatest players the game has ever seen. Ronaldo is contracted to the club until 2021, and has spoken recently about his plans after he retires. As that date draws closer, Real will have to deal with the reality that one of the main reasons for their success over the last decade will depart.
For now, with Ronaldo still going strong, Los Blancos will be considered among the favourites in the La Liga betting to win the league next season. Whether they are favoured over this season’s champions Barcelona could depend on what signings both clubs make in the summer transfer window.
With five Ballon d’Or trophies already to his name, Ronaldo has stated that he would like to earn more before he hangs up his boots. Messi also has five to his name, so if the Madrid star wants to go down as the greatest footballer of all time he will have to outdo his El Classico rival in this regard.
Next on Ronaldo’s agenda will be progressing as far as possible in the World Cup with Portugal. At Euro 2016 in France, the relentless athlete helped his team to their first major international trophy in their history. If he could help his side win the World Cup, Ronaldo would surely be recognised as the most successful player ever. As for that dreaded day when Ronaldo does pack up his boots, he wants to follow in the footsteps of Vinnie Jones and Eric Cantona and pursue a career in acting.