Cristiano Ronaldo has less than one year remaining on his contract with Juventus and the latest reports suggest he is keen to leave after three years on their books
Cristiano Ronaldo has “grown a lot over the years” but remains a the ultimate professional who is driven by winning more than anything else.
That’s the verdict of his former teammate Ricardo Carvalho, which comes at a time of great speculation surrounding Ronaldo’s future at Juventus.
The Portugal captain has less than one year remaining on his deal in Turin and the latest reports suggest he is keen to leave Juve after three years on their books.
Remarkably, reports in Italy claim Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, is preparing to offer his client to Manchester City despite the forward’s vow never to join Manchester United’s local rivals.
While City have won three of the last four Premier League titles, United have endured an eight-year barren spell without being crowned English champions.
This makes Carvalho’s honest discussion of what keeps Ronaldo ticking especially pertinent, as his ultimate desire to “be successful” appears more likely to come to fruition at the Etihad rather than with a second stint at Old Trafford.
“One thing hasn’t changed, though: his whole life revolves around being successful in anything he does. Cristiano is a perfectionist. He doesn’t demand anything from you that he can’t do himself.
“People may criticise him and disagree with him, but there’s no question that as a footballer, he’s Portugal’s biggest symbol worldwide – and by his own merit, he has been in that position for many years already.”
With two weeks remaining until the transfer window slams shut, Ronaldo seems primed to dominate headlines yet again.
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Another world-class talent whose future is of great interest is Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe, who idolised Ronaldo growing up and also has one year remaining on his contract.
Carvalho can see clear parallels between the mentalities of the two No.7s, having played alongside Mbappe for Monaco during the latter years of his career.
He added: “It was incredible to see a talent like him emerging. We had a good relationship, and recently, when I was Marseille’s assistant coach, we played PSG in the French Super Cup. He came over to our bench to give me a hug.
“At Monaco, everything we spoke about had the sole purpose of helping him improve.
“When you’re starting out and have the traits he had, you can be more individualistic than you should, so it was important for him to improve his decision-making.
“He always wanted to do more, and felt that he could, but it’s crucial to find balance for the team. That was how he reached this level.”