Cristiano Ronaldo insists he won’t leave Real Madrid this summer and will see out his contract at the Bernabeu.
Speculation over the Portuguese winger’s future has been rife in recent weeks, with reports suggesting he was ready to walk out of Real Madrid in the summer and head back to Manchester United.
Earlier this season Ronaldo admitted he was ‘sad’ in Spain, reportedly because of a lack of support over his challenge to win the Ballon d’Or, while more recently he has refused to discuss the prospect of a new deal, saying he is focused on the uphill task of helping Madrid defend their La Liga crown.
Ronaldo insists he has no plans to leave Madrid before his contract expires in 2015, but says he could move on after that.
“I want to see out my contract at Real Madrid,” he told Fifa.com. “I’m very clear about that. After that, well, I don’t know what’ll happen in the future.”
In the wide-ranging interview Ronaldo also discussed Mardrid’s upcoming Champions League tie against his former club Manchester United.
Under-fire Madrid coach Jose Mourinho was present at Old Trafford to watch the Red Devils beat rivals Liverpool on Sunday, and Ronaldo believes that although Los Blancos haven’t been at their best this term, they’ll be going all out for victory against Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
“No team’s unbeatable, but when we’re at our best we’re a really good side,” he commented.
“Manchester United have started the English championship race very well and are a long way ahead of the rest, but still, if we play the way we’re capable of, we can beat them. To do that we need to pull together and play as a team, like we’ve done in so many matches before.”
The 27-year-old did admit to feeling the pressure after Madrid’s faltering La Liga defence, which has seen them fall 18 points behind rivals Barcelona.
With their title tilt all but over at the half-way stage of the season, Ronaldo says the focus is on winning the Champions League, but revealed the pressure of trying to win Madrid’s 10th European crown can sometimes impact on their performances.
"The pressure [to perform] is too great and that sometimes it can affect us. But we have to try and rise above it and not let what people say get to us, particularly the media, as Real Madrid get spoken about every day. At the end of the day it comes down to an individual decision, whether you want to read the papers or not. I don’t think what the papers say matters too much, so there’s no need to overdramatise the issue."
He added: “Every Madridista wants that tenth European Cup – we’re more than aware of that. Last season we fell just short, which was very frustrating.”
“Fortunately we’ve got the opportunity to set the record straight this year, though the fact we face Manchester United next makes it more difficult. It’s not going to be easy and I reckon the odds are about 50-50, but I’m still very confident.”