Friday, 20 September 2019

Ronaldo: 2018 worst year of my life

Cristiano Ronaldo says the rape allegation against him was an attack on his honour and led to the worst year of his life.

Ronaldo was accused of raping a woman in Las Vegas more than 10 years ago but won't face criminal charges after it was determined the investigation failed to show the claim could be proven at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.

Speaking to Portuguese television TVI, Ronaldo said: "2018 was probably my worst year ever, personally speaking. When people question your honour, it hurts, it hurts a lot."

The 34-year-old Juventus forward did not directly talk about the 2009 accusation brought on by Kathryn Mayorga, an American who in a separate lawsuit says she was pressured to sign an agreement to keep quiet in exchange for $375,000.

Ronaldo said he was not "comfortable speaking" about the case, "but when people attack your honour, it is difficult."

He said he was thankful and proud that "once again" his innocence was proved.

Ronaldo has admitted he could be in the last season of his career - but also reckons he might go on for another seven years.

Ronaldo made his professional debut way back in 2002, when he embarked on a glittering career first with Sporting, then Manchester United, Real Madrid and now Juventus.

The Portugal international remains in outstanding shape and shows no signs of relenting as a player, but hinted he might be ready to hang his boots up.

"I don't think about that (retirement). Maybe I can leave my career next year … but I can also play up to 40 or 41. I don't know," he said. "What I always say is to enjoy the moment. The gift is excellent and I have to continue to enjoy it."

In his 17-year professional career, Ronaldo has won a staggering number of trophies, including six major European league titles and five Champions Leagues.

But his list of individual accolades is arguably more impressive with five Ballons d'Or, five World Soccer Player of the Year awards and four Golden Shoes, awarded to the domestic topscorer in Europe.

The only player who can match those figures is Ronaldo's long-time rival Lionel Messi, with whom he is tied in each category.

But the Juventus star clearly believes he has done enough in his career to outdo Messi.

"Are there any soccer players who have more records than me?" Ronaldo said. "I don't think there are any footballers who have more records than me."

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