MADRID (AP) — Life in Madrid certainly seems to agree with Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portugal forward signed a five-year contract extension with Real Madrid on Monday, capping an exceptional year after triumphs with his club in the Champions League and with his national team in the European Championship.
“This is the best moment in my life,” Ronaldo said. “After winning the Champions with Madrid, the Euro with Portugal and now having my contract extended, it’s a dream year. This is too special. Life is good, I’m telling you.”
Wearing jeans, a black jacket and glasses, Ronaldo signed the new five-year contract alongside club president Florentino Perez, then was given a Madrid jersey with the number 2021 on the back.
The deal keeps Ronaldo tied to Madrid until June 2021, when he will be 36 years old. His previous contract would have ended in 2018.
“It’s not my last contract, let’s make it clear,” he said with a smile.
The three-time world player of the year is Madrid’s all-time leading scorer with 372 goals in 360 matches. He has scored more than 50 goals in the last six seasons and is two short of becoming the first player to score 100 goals in European competitions. Ronaldo led Madrid to two Champions League titles and to a Spanish league title, among other trophies.
“I’m not going to lie, I didn’t expect to have these great numbers by now,” Ronaldo said. “I want to keep making history and giving my best with this jersey. I want to keep doing what I have been doing, scoring goals and helping this club win trophies.”
He feels the numbers should be enough to give him a fourth player of the year award, but said “it’s not up to me to vote, so I’m not worried with that.”
Ronaldo arrived in Madrid from Manchester United in 2009. He will have played 12 seasons with the Spanish powerhouse if he stays through the end of the new contract.
“Ronaldo has become an icon for this club, the symbol of the best club in the history of football,” Perez said. “There is no doubt that there will be a ‘before Ronaldo’ and an ‘after Ronaldo’ for Real Madrid.”
The 31-year-old forward signed the new contract a day after Madrid defeated Leganes 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to retain the Spanish league lead. Ronaldo didn’t find the net, extending his scoreless streak at the Bernabeu to five matches, his worst scoring slump at home.
It was another lackluster performance for Ronaldo, who has been facing criticism for an up-and-down start to a season in which he has played below expectations with seven goals in 12 matches. He was jeered at the Bernabeu after a recent disappointing performance in the Spanish league.
“This day is too special to talk about scoring or not scoring,” Ronaldo said.
Ronaldo is just the latest Madrid player to have his contract extended past 2020. The club recently reached new deals with Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Lucas Vazquez.