Cristiano Ronaldo said it would be impossible for him to pick out just one moment, game or goal from a year which he described as "a dream" as he committed to Real Madrid on Monday, signing a contract extension which will keep him at the club until 2021. It is the player's second renewal since joining the club in July 2009. He penned a five-year extension in September 2013 and with the new arrangement completed today, he will terminate his contract with Real Madrid when he is 36 years old, although in today's press conference, he says he has "another 10 years left in the game at least".
Today's event was held at the VIP lounge in the Bernabéu after Cristiano had signed his new contract in the club boardroom. The player, accompanied by his mother, listened to Florentino Pérez's introductory speech before he took to the stage, first to express his thanks to the club and team mates, then to answer questions from the media.
“I'd like to thank the President, Real Madrid, the city, my team mates and all of the people who have helped me to reach this moment. Obviously this is a very special day for me, an important day in my association with Real Madrid. I've said it many times before, this club has always been in my heart, this is my home. I hope this isn't my last contract renewal. Football has no memory, but Real Madrid does. I want to continue making history at this club, giving my best and scoring goals. Thank you very much to you all, my family, my team, all of the people who work with me at Madrid. Thank you”.
What limit have you set yourself? Would you like to remain at Real Madrid after this new contract expires? “We'll see, you never know what the future holds and what matters is this moment - the present. I'd like to end my playing career here, I don't know at what age but I hope that this is not my last contract, I hope to be here for many more years”.
I had the privilege of knowing Di Stéfano, the legend, and he'd say to me: ‘Champ, stay as you are, you're the greatest’. I have a special fondness for him, he was my reference and I'm sure he would be really happy that I am staying with Madrid - and Raúl too”.
Challenges and dreams: “I always have dreams, but reaching them is another matter. The figures I have achieved here at Madrid are incredible - I never expected to reach those numbers in such a short space of time, but with hard work - both personally and from the team, that helped me to get those results. I'll be here another five years and that's a long time in football. I'll give my best in the good times and the bad; and I still have a lot to learn”.
Scoring: “This is such a wonderful day - I'm looking at my mother's eyes and they're shining. The issue about scoring goals isn't as important as you might think. I know that sometimes I might appear anxious, but I'm not anxious. for anyone who is used to scoring, it's strange when you don't, but it's not a big deal - we all go through good and bad times”.
Do you think you can reach 500 goals for Madrid: “It's a figure which is possible, but I prefer things to come naturally. I never thought I'd beat Raúl's figure but I did it. Reaching 500 goals is possible but I'm not going to get obsessed by it, what matters most are collective achievements”.
Ballon d'Or: “After winning the Champions League, Euro 2016, now this new contract... it's been a dream year. Obviously it's important, but so was winning the Champions League and the Euros”.