News and opinions
15 September 2013
Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo announced the Portuguese player’s five-season renovation today at a ceremony held at the Santiago Bernabeu’s directors’ box. “Hopefully I’ll retire in Real Madrid. It’s a very special day for me and it’s a privilege to continue in this house, which has given me many things. We came to an agreement that I’m happy with and for me it’s as if today were my first day here. I’ll continue to work and sacrifice to give my best for this shirt. I’m very grateful to the president and the fans for their support in every match. It’s because of them that I’m here”, said the Portuguese striker, accompanied by president Florentino Perez and clearly excited to extend his contract with the Whites.
Cristiano Ronaldo was clear when asked about the process that led to the agreement between player and club: “We already had an agreement at the end of last season which is now confirmed because we’ve signed the papers. We both gave our word and it’s something that both the president and I wanted. The contract was signed for that reason and for the fans, who I get on really well with. I’m proud of my four years here and renewing makes me really happy because this is the greatest club”.
When asked if the fans’ support was fundamental to his contract extension, the striker said: “The crowd at the Bernabeu is one-of-a-kind. They’ve shown me that they like my way of playing and who am I, both in our stadium and on the streets. That’s the most important thing and a key factor for me because I feel supported by teammates, fans, directors and the president. I don’t know if I’ll retire at 33, I just want to enjoy it and make my fans happy, which is why I’ll try to play as much as possible”.
Cristiano Ronaldo also commented on the squad’s objective of winning the Décima and of the team’s transfers and reinforcements over the summer: “It’s nothing new. There are players that come and others that go. That’s normal in this club and they are decisions that you have to respect. We have our opinion, but that stays between the players. You have to respect the president, who always tries to bring the best players. We work to win trophies and I know that sooner or later we’ll get the Décima. Hopefully it’s this year”.
The forward also answered questions about his chance to become the top scorer in club history and to form part of the best squad he’s yet to play with: “Records are made to be broken. It’s not my priority and you shouldn’t focus just on that goal. The important thing is to win titles and then the individual trophies will come. Playing and winning as a team comes first”, he said when asked about possibly becoming the top White scorer on the books. Cristiano Ronaldo only had words of praise for his teammates: “We’ll see at the season’s end. If we win big things this will be the best squad that I’ve ever played with. That’s what we’re working towards. We have great players, but that doesn’t mean that we’ll win everything. It helps a lot, but we need hard work and humility to win as a team”.
When asked to rate his last few years with the Whites, Cristiano Ronaldo replied: “They were positive. If they hadn’t been I wouldn’t have renewed my contract. You can always improve and learn more. I don’t limit myself and I’ll try to score the highest number of goals in these upcoming years and help my teammates win trophies. My objective is to always give my best and help the team to reach the objectives we’ve set. Just like every year we’re going to try to win everything that we can. I’ll try to always give it my all”.
The Portuguese forward was adamant when asked if he will be the highest paid footballer in the world: “That's not important. There are more important things than money in life. Money is important, but it was not the priority. What was the priority was the project for the future and to be in the best club in the world. The president always wants to sign the best players and this club wants to win titles, so I feel a part of this project. I feel really good here. This is my home now. My decision is to be here and I'll play on this team perhaps until I retire.”
When asked if at some point he had considered leaving Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo replied: “That’s a situation I’ve never been in because I feel really good in this house. People treat me well and that’s the most important thing for me. Everything had a happy ending and I’m very happy. What I wanted was to stay here, with the best team in the world. There are few clubs you can go to if you leave Real Madrid; I’m with the top team”.
In terms of his current state of mind and the statements he made about being sad last season after the match against Granada, Cristiano said: “We all have our good and bad days. I was sad that day, but that’s normal and human. I shouldn’t have said it, but I'm not perfect. I make mistakes and it's old news. I feel good now, excited and eager to continue with this club for many years. I belong to the Real Madrid family for the next five years”. To close, the striker commented on his absence at the UEFA’s latest gala: “Real Madrid means more to me than individual trophies. My coach and I decided that playing in La Coruna was important for my preseason”.
President Florentino Perez, the first to take the floor after a moving video about the Portuguese player’s last four years with Real Madrid, said: "This is a great day for the club. We’ve made the dream of all madridistas come true. Cristiano Ronaldo will continue to play for Real Madrid for the next five years. And we are here today to personally announce what fans around the world have demanded and asked for in recent months: his renewal. This stadium was packed four years ago with no game scheduled; our fans filled the stands that evening to give a spectacular welcome to a new player. No one had ever been welcomed by the Bernabeu that way before. From that moment until today, Cristiano has demonstrated his complete dedication, boundless professionalism, constant sacrifice, extremely high level of self-imposed standards and immense skill that have won the hearts of all madridistas. Today is a wonderful day for Real Madrid and for all its fans, because the best player in the world knows that this is and always will be his home, and that these are and always will be the fans that ask that most of him, but who also love him the most”.
Florentino Perez concluded by praising Cristiano Ronaldo’s hard work over the last four seasons: “The example of all this is his hunger to score. His numbers are simply overwhelming. Cristiano Ronaldo has played 203 games as a madridista and has scored 204 goals. There are no precedents for such spectacular figures. But Cristiano, like Real Madrid, always wants more. Cristiano, like Real Madrid, is always willing to face new challenges. That is why there are never enough victories for Cristiano, just like there aren’t for Real Madrid. Cristiano, there are still many goals for you to score with this club and many wins and titles to celebrate to make the legend of Real Madrid even greater. Santiago Bernabeu taught us that this team must always have the best. That is one of the hallmarks of our club, and we have the best with Cristiano”.