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Ronaldo not considering Portugal retirement

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo is not thinking about retiring from international football after signing a new five-year contract at Real Madrid.

Ronaldo is his country’s most-capped and highest-scoring player and was part of a Portugal side that won a first major trophy at Euro 2016 in July.

The three-time Ballon d’Or winner is now tied to Madrid until he is 36 years old, but he is not giving any consideration to placing his sole focus on club football.

“After what happened at the Euro I sent out a clear message. I think that Portugal deserved to win the title,” Ronaldo said at an event to commemorate his new deal at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“Ever since I was 18 I’ve been playing for Portugal and since I was named captain I’ve taken Portugal to new heights. No, I’m not contemplating early retirement from the national team.”

Ronaldo is Madrid’s all-time leading scorer with 371 goals and is often pitted against Lionel Messi in debates regarding the best player in the modern era.

After Messi scored his 500th Barcelona goal in a 2-1 victory over Sevilla on Sunday, the Portuguese claimed he is not overwhelmed by a desire to match the feat in the Spanish capital.

“Things happen naturally. I never thought about beating Raul’s record. Five hundred goals? It’s possible, but I’m not obsessed with it,” said Ronaldo.

“The most important thing is to win titles with the team. Goals are good of course and the season is long, there’s the Copa, there’s the Champions League, LaLiga.

“That ambition is still there, the desire to become a better player is there and I’m happy here. There is more and better to come.”

Having also helped Madrid to the Champions League trophy in 2016, Ronaldo has been tipped as a heavy favourite for a fourth Ballon d’Or this year.

However, the 31-year-old reiterated that collective accolades are more important to him.

“To win the European Championship and get this contract, it’s already a dream year,” said Ronaldo.

“I don’t vote [for the Ballon d’Or] so I don’t get to decide, but I’m overjoyed looking back at the last year. I’m not obsessed with the award.  Team awards are important.”

Mon 7 Nov, 2016
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