Why is ‘Cristiano Ronaldo retiring’ trending now?

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IT is no secret that Cristiano Ronaldo is nearing the end of his glittering career.

The football legend – who has scored more official goals than any player in the sport’s history – is now 39 and in the twilight of his career.

Cristiano Ronaldo, 39, has been in the goals for Al Nassr this season - but is nearing the end of his glittering career

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Cristiano Ronaldo, 39, has been in the goals for Al Nassr this season – but is nearing the end of his glittering careerCredit: Reuters

Why is ‘Cristiano Ronaldo retiring’ trending?

Because of the forward’s age many fans have continued to wonder when Ronaldo will finally hang up his boots.

With Euro 2024 this summer, and Ronaldo turning 40 in February 2025, many initially thought this tournament could be the perfect swansong for the Portuguese superstar.

Moving to Saudi Arabia, which many see as a ‘retirement league’ despite the host of stars that have flocked to the Gulf on mega wages, has only increased talk that the end is approaching.

Ronaldo throwing his support behind the campaign to bring the World Cup to Saudi Arabia also had fans questioning his future.

READ MORE CRISTIANO RONALDO

However, it does not appear likely – at this point – that Ronaldo is going anywhere any time soon.

Al-Nassr are still competing at the top of the Saudi Pro League and Ronaldo has been in exceptional form this season.

The Manchester United legend has scored an incredible 42 goals in 41 games in all competitions so far this season and is the top scorer in the league.

His 29 goals in 24 league matches place him ahead of much younger stars such as Aleksandar Mitrovic, Talisca, Sadio Mane, Karim Benzema and Riyad Mahrez.

Cristiano Ronaldo goal record

GOALS

Club

  • Sporting (2002-03) – 31 games, 5 goals
  • Manchester United (2003-09) – 292 games, 118 goals
  • Real Madrid (2009-18) – 438 games, 450 goals
  • Juventus (2018-22) – 134 games, 101 goals
  • Manchester United (2021-23) – 54 games, 27 goals
  • Al Nassr (2022-present) – 60 games, 56 goals

International

  • Portugal (2003-present) – 206 games, 128 goals

CAREER TOTAL = 1,217 games, 885 goals

*totals correct as of April 3, 2024

His current contract with Al Nassr also runs until June 2025.

With the Real Madrid and Juventus icon earning a reported $215million (£170m) every YEAR he is unlikely to break the contract and leave that much cash on the table.

When will Cristiano Ronaldo retire?

Ronaldo previously stated he will play until he is at least 40 and then see how he is feeling physically after that.

But those plans may well change given how dominant he continues to be – not only in the Saudi Pro League but at international level.

Cristiano Ronaldo led Manchester United to the 2008 Champions League and scored 145 goals in two spells for the club

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Cristiano Ronaldo led Manchester United to the 2008 Champions League and scored 145 goals in two spells for the clubCredit: Getty

He has scored 10 goals in his last 10 Portugal matches and, remarkably, is one of the bookies’ favourites for the Golden Boot at Euro 2024.

Ronaldo already has the most international caps in the history of the game – and is the only player with more than 200 appearances for his country.

He is also the all-time leading scorer in both international play and overall.

Ronaldo’s total tally in all competitions stands at a staggering 885 – more than 50 ahead of closest rival Lionel Messi.

The forward may think that an unprecedented 1,000 goals is in his sights.

He currently has 885 goals – at the time of writing – leaving him 115 away from four figures.

Having scored 47 goals for club and country so far in 23-24, it would only take another two or three seasons to reach the 1,000-goal mark.

The most recent reports indicate that Ronaldo is interested in extending his Al Nassr contract until 2027.

Cristiano Ronaldo trophy haul

Manchester United

  • Premier League – 2007, 2008, 2009
  • Champions League – 2008
  • FA Cup – 2004
  • League Cup – 2006, 2009
  • Club World Cup – 2008

Real Madrid

  • LaLiga – 2012, 2017
  • Champions League – 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • Copa del Rey – 2011, 2014
  • Club World Cup – 2014, 2016, 2017

Juventus

  • Serie A – 2019, 2020
  • Coppa Italia – 2021

Al Nassr

  • Arab Club Champions Cup – 2023

Portugal

  • European Championships – 2016
  • Nations League – 2019

Individual (select)

  • Ballon d’Or – 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017
  • Fifa World Player of the Year – 2008
  • La Liga Best Player – 2014
  • Serie A Footballer of the Year – 2019, 2020
  • Premier League Player of the Season – 2007, 2008

That would give him at least another two seasons at club level and put him in the frame to play at the 2026 World Cup in the US, Canada and Mexico.

Ronaldo has only reached as far as the semi-final stage in five World Cup appearances – he may want one final crack at the Jules Rimet trophy, especially having spent much of the 2022 tournament on the bench.

What has Ronaldo said about retirement?

Ronaldo has kept pretty tight-lipped about his retirement plans, earlier this year joking that he will play on for another decade.

He said: “At the moment when I finish I don’t know to be honest

“Of course it will be soon. By soon I mean 10 years more.

“I’m joking! I don’t know, let’s see.”

Cristiano Ronaldo may want one last crack at the 2026 World Cup - the only title Lionel Messi has over him in the GOAT debate

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Cristiano Ronaldo may want one last crack at the 2026 World Cup – the only title Lionel Messi has over him in the GOAT debateCredit: AP:Associated Press

Speaking before the last World Cup, he also didn’t think that winning a World Cup would have an impact on the GOAT debate with Messi.

“Even if I win the World Cup that will continue.

“Some people like me more, some less. It’s like in life, some like blondes, some like brunettes.

“I have always had to show what I can do year after year. I would love to win this tournament.

“I’m ambitious but if you tell me I won’t win any more tournaments I would still be happy given all I have won.

“In the history books all other records will be there. But obviously a World Cup on the shelf wouldn’t be bad. It would be a dream.”



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