I’m stay­ing at Real: Ron­aldo

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

MADRID: End­ing weeks of spec­u­la­tion about his fu­ture, Cris­tiano Ron­aldo has told a Span­ish news­pa­per he is stay­ing put at Real Madrid to plun­der more sil­ver­ware. “To win im­por­tant tro­phies with my club and the per­sonal hon­ours last sea­son was bril­liant, to do it again would be nice,” Ron­aldo told the sports daily Marca yes­ter­day in an in­ter­view from Shang­hai. Ron­aldo’s dec­la­ra­tion of in­tent to re­main at the Bern­abeu for the up­com­ing sea­son comes de­spite ru­mours of his de­par­ture which sur­faced last month in Por­tuguese news­pa­per O Globo.

Those re­ports were founded on his ap­par­ent feel­ing of aban­don­ment by his club over his run-in with the Span­ish tax au­thor­i­ties. Ron­aldo, 32, has been sum­moned to ap­pear be­fore a judge near Madrid on July 31 to an­swer four counts of evad­ing 14.7 mil­lion eu­ros ($16.8 mil­lion) in taxes.

The four-time Bal­lon d’Or win­ner has protested his in­no­cence with O Globo say­ing he had threat­ened to leave Real over the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Since ex­tend­ing his con­tract last Novem­ber un­til 2021, Ron­aldo is the high­est paid sports star in the world with $93 mil­lion (83m euro) in 2016-2017, ac­cord­ing to Forbes mag­a­zine. On Satur­day Real man­ager Zine­dine Zi­dane as­sured Real sup­port­ers that the su­per­star striker “was on hol­i­day and would be back with us on (Au­gust) 5”. Ron­aldo has been given leave to miss the club’s pre-sea­son US tour and Zi­dane, speak­ing in Los Angeles, in­sisted that he would be back at the club “on the fifth (of Au­gust) and I think he’ll stay for the next two or three years he’s got left with us.”

In yes­ter­day’s Marca in­ter­view Ron­aldo also looked ahead to the 2018 World Cup with Euro­pean cham­pi­ons Por­tu­gal. “We still have to qual­ify but I’m hop­ing that Por­tu­gal can win an in­cred­i­ble ti­tle.”

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