In the winter of his career, Cristiano Ronaldo He still has goals to score, records to break. This week he became the only footballer in history to score in five different World Cups and increased his mark in the national team’s all-time scorers table (a table he leads with 118 goals in 192 games). As if that were not enough, he terminated his contract with Manchester United, a club he accused of being only a company with commercial objectives, but not sports; and in this way he denounced his secondary role in the Ten Hag squad. In 3 months, next February, the striker will be 38 years old.
Ironically, the main problem of the footballer Ronaldo is the Ronaldo marks. This means that his commercial, symbolic and iconic value is above his performance on the field, which this year has been discreet. Normally this imbalance between performance and advertising price is resolved with a golden withdrawal. There are many signs of when that moment arrives, but one sure sign is when endorsements stop matching ranking positions. Federer is a recent example. Before his farewell, he had barely been able to compete, and yet last year the Swiss tennis player was the seventh highest paid athlete in the world (Cristiano was the third). There is nothing wrong with reaping what is sown. But you must be aware of what is the moment in which you live.
Ronaldo does not seem resigned to the fact that retirement is near and it is understandable why. His entire career has been built on the idea that effort and discipline are enough to overcome limits, no matter what they are. If he competes against one of the best in history, Messi, he can hold the comparison for a decade. If he loses speed as a winger, he reinvents himself as a center forward. If he exhausts his time at Manchester United, he triumphs at Real Madrid; if he gets fed up with the Bernabéu, he is welcomed by Juventus. A life built like this, under this narrative, is difficult to stop, to stop. But what happens when there is no more glorious step to take? What happens when the ladder seems to have come to an end and there are no more steps to climb? What happens when time is the rival to beat?
What happened on his last return to England is clear: CR7 demands a project built around him and total subordination to his figure, his talent, the place he occupies in history. But history does not play games and its characteristics today demand a traditional scheme: that of a 9 from the area without responsibility in marking and a certain freedom in the offensive and defensive development of the game. Few big teams can afford this drawing on the blackboard (maybe Atlético Madrid?), but modern football trends point to the disappearance of center forwards in favor of a versatile attacking and playmaker. Will his future be in Arabia? Will some Brazilian club with a giant wallet seek to make a splash? Or will some European insist on keeping him on the Old Continent?
The Portuguese captain can see the end of the year with optimism: he is first in the very complicated Group H with Portugal and can play tomorrow with the need for Uruguay, forced to score points after the draw against South Korea. Whatever he decides will be fine. It is the benefit of living an eternal present.
I have worked in the news industry for over 10 years. I have a keen interest in sports and have written for many different publications. I am currently working as an author at 24 News Recorder. I cover mostly sports news but also write about other topics such as current affairs and politics. I have a strong interest in social media and how it can be used to engage with audiences.