Cristiano Ronaldo appears set to keep the transfer rumour mill ticking over at Juventus, with the Portuguese superstar posting a cryptic message on social media as the 2020-21 campaign comes to a close.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is under contract in Turin for another 12 months, but a new challenge has been mooted – with various landing spots being speculated on, from Manchester to Madrid via MLS.
The iconic 36-year-old admits to having hit the targets he set out when making a stunning switch from Spain to Italy in the summer of 2018, with the all-time great pleased to have made his mark in another record-setting stint of a truly remarkable career.
What has been said?
Ronaldo has posted on Instagram after landing Coppa Italia glory in 2020-21 and becoming the fastest man to reach 100 goals for Juve: “The life and career of any top player are made of ups and downs.
“Year after year, we face fantastic teams, with extraordinary players and ambitious goals, so we always have to give our best to keep ourselves at excellent levels.
“This year we couldn’t win Serie A, congratulations to Inter for the well-deserved title. However, I have to value everything that we achieved this season at Juventus, both in collective and individual terms.
“The Italian Super Cup, the Italian Cup and the Serie A Top Scorer trophy fill me with happiness, mainly due to the difficulty they carry with them, in a country where nothing is easy to win.
“With these achievements, I reached a goal that I had set myself since the first day I arrived in Italy: to win the Championship, the Cup and the Super Cup, and also to be Best Player and Top Scorer in this great football country filled with tremendous players, giant clubs and its very own football culture.
“I’ve already said that I don’t chase records, records chase me. For those who don’t understand what I mean by this, it’s very simple: football is a collective game, but it is through individual overcoming that we help our teams achieve their goals.
“It is always looking for more and more on the field, working more and more off the field, that records eventually emerge and collective titles become inevitable, some being the natural consequence of the other.
“So, I’m very proud with this fact that has been widely replicated in recent days: Champion in England, Spain and Italy; Cup winner in England, Spain and Italy; Super Cup winner in England, Spain and Italy; Best Player in England, Spain and Italy; Best Scorer in England, Spain and Italy; Over 100 goals for a club in England, Spain and Italy.
“Nothing compares to the feeling of knowing that I’ve left my mark in the countries where I’ve played, and that I gave joy to the fans of the clubs I represented.
“This is what I work for, this is what moves me and this is what I’ll always keep chasing for until the last day.
“Thanks to everyone who took part in this journey! We stand together!”
The bigger picture
Ronaldo has helped to secure five trophies across his three years at Juventus, with that haul including two Serie A titles.
He was, however, acquired to help the Bianconeri end their long wait for Champions League glory, and European glory has proved elusive.
With that in mind, and with questions being asked of leading figures on and off the field, change is expected in Turin this summer.
Ronaldo may form part of that process, with his sporting and marketing ability still of obvious appeal to clubs around the world, but no formal decision has been taken as yet regarding the future of one of the very best to ever play the game.
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