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Cristiano Ronaldo Casts Doubt on Juventus Future, Targets Euro 2020 Glory With Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo has refused to commit his future to Juventus ahead of Portugal’s start to Euro 2020. Ronaldo has a year left on his contract with the Italian giants, but

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has refused to commit his future to Juventus ahead of Portugal’s start to Euro 2020.

Ronaldo has a year left on his contract with the Italian giants, but that has not stopped intermediaries from assessing whether leading European clubs want to make a move for the Portugal captain.

Ronaldo is expected to decide his future after the European Championship. Speaking ahead of Portugal’s opener against Hungary on Budapest on Tuesday, Ronaldo was asked about his club future and he said: “I’ve been playing at a high level for 18 years, it doesn’t even tickle me. If I were starting now, being 18 or 19 maybe, I wouldn’t sleep thinking about my future.

“But as you can calculate by now, at 36-years-old… whatever comes will be for the good, regardless of whether one stays or leaves, that’s not the most important thing now. The focus is on the national team. A competition of this magnitude you don’t play every day.”

Ronaldo just completed his third season at Juve and helped the team win the Coppa Italia. The Turin giants missed out on the Serie A title and were eliminated by FC Porto in the round of 16 of the Champions League.

“This is my fifth European Championship but for me it feels as though it’s my first,” Ronaldo said, with Portugal looking to defend the trophy they won in France in 2016.

“The most important thing for me is to start on the right foot tomorrow, to win and play well. Positive thinking. This is obviously not the same team as in 2016, it is a younger team with enormous potential.

“Only competition will tell if we are better or worse.” Ronaldo believes it’s his ability to adapt to the changing of the game that has allowed him to continue to be successful. On a personal level, I’m not the same player I was 18 years ago, 10 years ago or five years ago.

“The intelligence of a football player is to adapt to the game. The game itself is different. Players who have longevity in football are those who can adapt. The numbers speak for themselves: I have adapted from 18 to 36. I always work to achieve things on a personal and collective level. I think the times have been very positive. I think I’ve adapted very well to all the times I’ve played.”

Ronaldo, who scored 36 goals in 44 appearances for Juve this past season, goes into the tournament looking to break a few records. Should he hit the back of the net in this tournament, he will become the leading scorer in Euro finals as he is level on nine goals with France great Michel Platini.

He has made 55 appearances in European competition (qualifying phase and finals) with Portugal, with Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon having made a record 58 appearances. Ronaldo has also scored 104 goals in 175 appearances for Portugal, just five fewer than Iranian Ali Daei’s all-time men’s record of 109 international goals.

“The most beautiful record would be to win the Euros twice in a row,” Ronaldo said. “The team has been doing well, it’s prepared. I hope that tomorrow the team goes on with the right foot, which is very important in this type of competition. We’re going to play against a well-prepared team, who will have the support of the public in their stadium. It’s important to have the fans.”

Portugal suffered a setback in their preparations for Tuesday’s opener against Hungary. Coach Fernando Santos was forced to make a late change to the squad with Manchester United’s Diogo Dalot, on loan at AC Milan, replacing Manchester City right-back Joao Cancelo, who tested positive for COVID-19.

“It was a shame that Joao tested positive, but we’re not worried about that,” Ronaldo added.

“We didn’t even talk about COVID-19. It’s a subject that already tires everyone out. Unfortunately, we have to live with it. In my opinion this team is focused on the game. It will be the first European Championship for many of them. The rest does not affect this team.”