Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo has opened up on his retirement plans, expressing a desire to challenge himself by starting a new career in acting.
Ronaldo is widely revered as one of the finest footballers in history, having earned five Ballon d’Or awards for his individual brilliance during spells at Manchester United and Real Madrid.
The 34-year-old has won a whole host of major trophies, including five European Cups and six league titles, while also landing a European Championships winners’ medal with Portugal.
Ronaldo holds the all-time scoring record for his country and for Madrid, and continues to set new standards of excellence even as he approaches the latter stages of his career.
The former United superstar is now on the books at Juventus, and is currently enjoying another prolific season with 10 goals to his name from 14 Serie A outings.
However, Ronaldo’s playing days will draw to a close at some point in the near future, which he acknowledged at a Dubai Sports conference on Saturday.
The Juve talisman says he will walk away from the game “the moment my body is no longer responding in the right way”, with one eye on a possible foray into the film industry.
“Several years ago, the age of playing football was until 30-32, but now, you find those who are 40 years old playing on the field,” Ronaldo began.
“The moment my body is no longer responding in the right way on the field, then it would be the time to leave. My success in my field is the result of hard work, and a way of living. I work continuously to improve my mental and physical abilities. I aspire to continue my studies after retiring from football.
“I hope I live more than 50 years to learn new things and face different challenges and try to find solutions for them. One of the things that I seek to challenge myself in, for example, is acting in a movie.
“I always recommend learning all that is new. This is what I always strive for. I always seek to educate myself, because my studies tend to answer many of the questions on my mind.
“We have to learn the best of others, and this is an important part in helping me achieve what I have reached now.”
Ronaldo has often been praised for his work rate on the training ground and his commitment to maintaining a status as one of the best players in the world, while sticking to a strict diet so that he can extend his time on the pitch for as long as possible.
The Portuguese thinks his dedication to the sport makes him “different” to his peers, but he does not want his comments to be misconstrued as arrogant.
“Our life is based on balance, you can eat all the food you want, but in return, you should keep exercising and not eat what harms your body,” he added.
“I know my body 100 per cent, and I always maintain a diet that brings me the physique that makes me different. Everyone knows my way of living, and my life is devoted to football.
“Maintaining my level of success in the past 15 years is mainly linked to my perseverance in being the best! I don’t want my words to be understood as narcissism.
“The love of football is the main motive in achieving all the titles I ever won. There are no special miracles or secrets in my success story, or any other success story. Rather, it is a great dedication to what you do.
“At the age of 34, I still have that fitness through diligence and hard work to get titles.”
Ronaldo will be back in action with Juventus after the winter break, with Cagliari set to arrive at the Allianz Stadium on January 6.
Crystal Palace Hit Back To Deny Man City After Late Aguero Double
A late own goal by Fernandinho denied Manchester City a comeback win over Crystal Palace after a 2-2 draw at The Etihad.
Cenk Tosun marked his full debut with a goal as Palace took a shock lead with their first attempt on goal in the 39th minute.
City saw a penalty decision rightly overturned by VAR after an accidental handball by Jairo Riedewald, but the home side drew level with eight minutes to go when Gabriel Jesus’ cross was well tucked away by Sergio Aguero.
And the match was turned on its head five minutes later when Bernard Mendy’s superb centre was met by a fine header from Aguero.
The drama was not over there though and Palace grabbed a leveller in the 90th minute when Wilfried Zaha powered past John Stones and his cross was turned into his own net by Fernandinho.
VAR: EPL Referees To Start Using Pitch-Side Monitors
Premier League referees have been told to start using pitch side monitors for red card decisions where it is felt they should have the final say.
The Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the body that manages elite referees, has issued the guidance.
The only time the monitors have been used this season is by Michael Oliver in an FA Cup third-round tie between Crystal Palace and Derby County.
As a result, he upgraded a yellow card for Palace’s Luka Milivojevic to a red.
This is the sort of incident where they are now set to be used in top-flight games.
The move was welcomed by Premier League managers.
Speaking yesterday Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said “It is a positive move. The referee will be taking responsibility himself. I like that.”
One case that could potentially be handled differently in future was that of Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s sending off against Crystal Palace on January 11.
Aubameyang, 30, was initially given a yellow card by referee Paul Tierney for a tackle on midfielder Max Meyer, but the decision was changed to a red by the video assistant referee.
It is felt by the Premier League that Tierney should probably have made the final call to confirm his authority and make the decision more likely to be accepted by both players and fans inside the stadium.
The Gunners appealed against the decision but that was rejected on Wednesday, meaning Gabon international Aubameyang will miss Premier League games against Sheffield United and Chelsea, and the FA Cup fourth-round tie at Bournemouth.
BREAKING: Man Utd Captain Ashley Young Joins Inter
Ashley Young has completed his move from Manchester United to Inter Milan on a six-month deal with an option to extend for a further year.
Ashley Young is officially an Inter player. The 34-year-old English defender arrives from Manchester United and has signed a contract lasting until 30 June 2020 with an option to extend for a further season.
No transfer fee has been revealed but according to several sources in Italy, Inter have paid Manchester United €1.5 million to secure the services of the former Aston Villa man, a fee that will increase every time Young plays for the Nerazzurri.
Ashley Young’s contract with Manchester United was due to expire at the end of June 2020 but the Nerazzurri wanted to add him to the fold for the second half of the season and so they negotiated this deal with the Red Devils.
Ashley Young joined Manchester United from Aston Villa ahead of the 2011/2012 season for a reported fee between £15-20 million and has since then featured 261 times across all competitions scoring 19 goals in the process.