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Cristiano Ronaldo, 2017 Ballon d’Or winner, wants to finish career at Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo, who beat Lionel Messi to win the Ballon d’Or award for the fifth time and the second year in a row, said he is happy at Real Madrid and has no plans to leave the Spanish club.

football Updated: Dec 08, 2017 11:51 IST
Omnisport, Paris
Cristiano Ronaldo,Ballon d'Or,2017 Ballon d’Or
Cristiano Ronaldo won his fifth Ballon d’Or to go level with FC Barcelona rival Lionel Messi. (AFP)

After lifting the Ballon d’Or for a record-equalling fifth time, Cristiano Ronaldo declared his intention to see out the rest of his career at Real Madrid.

The Portuguese forward was in Paris to pick up the prestigious award for the fourth time in five years, with his latest success drawing him level with Lionel Messi on the all-time list.

(Read | Cristiano Ronaldo wins fifth Ballon d’Or to equal Lionel Messi)

Ronaldo edged out his long-time rival thanks to a stellar year that included moving past 600 career goals with a brace in his club’s 4-1 victory over Juventus in last season’s Champions League final.

While there was recent speculation he had rejected the offer of a new deal to remain in Madrid, the 32-year-old took the opportunity to make clear his desire to remain in the Spanish capital until he hangs up his boots.

“I hope I can play at the greatest level for a few more years,” Ronaldo told L’Equipe TV.

(Read | UEFA Europa League: Arsenal F.C. thrash FC BATE Borisov, Marseille reach last 32)

“The battle continues with Messi, we’re doing the best we can for our teams.

“I think things are happening for a reason. I feel good, let’s see what happens in the future. I’m happy at Real and I want to stay and finish my career there if possible”.

Madrid president Florentino Perez, who was also present at the Ballon d’Or ceremony, believes Ronaldo deserves to be considered on the same level as club legend Alfredo Di Stefano.

“For Real Madrid and all the madridistas in the world, this fifth Ballon d’Or is an honor and a recognition for the best player in the world,” he told L’Equipe TV.

“I think Cristiano Ronaldo has all the Real Madrid values; effort, respect and team-work.

“For me, he is the heir to Alfredo Di Stefano”

First Published: Dec 08, 2017 11:51 IST