Cristiano Ronaldo's unceremonious exit from Manchester United made football headlines, which coincided with an unforgettable World Cup campaign in Qatar for Portugal and Ronaldo specifically. Meanwhile, Piers Morgan won the Scoop of the Year award at the British Sports Journalism Awards for his interview with the five-time Balon d'Or winner, which revealed some interesting details. On the other hand, Ronaldo began his life in Saudi Arabia, which, to be honest, wasn't shy of outfield bust-ups.
Changes have been made to the Portugal dugout, with Euro 2016 winner Fernando Santos replaced by the experienced Roberto Martinez, who quit his role at the helm of the Belgium National Team. Martinez put aside speculation about whether Ronaldo had played his final game against Morocco in the ill-fated World Cup in Qatar by selecting the star player for the upcoming Euro qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.
Time to move on
Ronaldo addressed the media ahead of the match and spoke out on his Manchester United exit for the first time, as well as his life in Saudi Arabia.
"Sometimes you have to go through some things to see who's on my side. In a difficult phase, you can see who is on your side. I have no problem saying, I had a bad career run, but there's no time for regrets," he told Sport TV +.
"Life goes on, and, doing well or not, it was part of my growth. When we are at the top of the mountain, we often cannot see what is below. Now I'm more prepared, and that learning was important because I had never been through this, like in the last few months. Now I'm a better man."
Quality of football in Saudi Arabia
Since joining Al Nassr, Ronaldo has played 10 games, scoring 9 goals and providing 2 assists. Ronaldo was also named the SPL player of the month for February. Ronaldo spoke about the competitiveness of the league and compared it to the Premier League.
“Saudi League is not the Premier League, I am not going to lie. But it’s a league that has left me positively suprised. It can become a very big league because of how much they want to keep improving.”
On his International future
Ronaldo also admitted that while he did consider retiring, he still feels he has a lot to give and contribute.
“It was all in the balance after the World Cup. I’m not going to lie. In our life, we have to put everything on the scale,” Ronaldo told reporters on Wednesday.
“I reflected with my family, and then we came to the conclusion that it was not time to throw in the towel. I learned a lot from it and I’m very happy to be back. The coach says he wants me in the squad. I feel that I still have a lot to give, and I want to keep it going.”
“I’m glad to be back. Roberto Martinez showed that he counted on me. I’ve always wanted to play. As you know, he talked to everyone and to me, too. And I was able to realise that I have a lot to give to the national team. I feel it, I want it, and my desire is to take Portugal to the highest level. I will always give my contribution when they need me.”
Another record beckons
After already holding the record for most international goals in football, Ronaldo is set to add another to his kitty with the most international appearances. The record goalscorer is currently tied with Kuwait's Bader Al-Mutawa who made 196 outings.
“Records are always positive,” Ronaldo said. “They are my motivation. I like to break records and this record is special. I’ll be really proud if it happens, but I want to keep playing even more games, I don’t want to stop here.”
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