Cristiano Ronaldo, an international football star, admitted on Wednesday that leaving Manchester United was a result of him entering a “poor era” in his career.
The Al-Nassr captain, who joined the Saudi club in January following his caustic criticism of United and its manager Erik ten Hag in an interview, is due to return to lead Portugal for two Euro 2024 qualifiers.
Ronaldo left United after the interview, making 10 appearances and four starts, and will continue to play for Al-Nassr through the 2025 season.
Yet, the Portugal footballer speaking at a news conference pondered on his decisions saying: “There is no time for regrets in this life. Even if we don’t do so well, it’s part of our life.”
He added that he was “better prepared” now because he could “see somethings” from “the top of the mountain” that he had previously been unable to.
“When we are at the top of the mountain, it’s hard to see what’s down here and many times I couldn’t. I feel like I’m better prepared now because I can see some things. I’m a better man now.”
The Al Nassr captain added: “I think that everything in life happens for a reason. I’m often grateful to go through some difficult things so I can see who is really on my side. At the tough times, you see who is on your side.”
Acknowledging that the time he left United was a painful one, Ronaldo added “it was not a very good phase in my life, in my career, first on a personal level and then professionally.”
After falling to Morocco in the 2022 World Cup quarterfinals, Portugal hired Roberto Martinez to take Fernando Santos’ place as coach.
Ronaldo said the following when asked if he would consider retiring after the World Cup in 2017: “It was all in the balance after the World Cup. I reflected with my family and then we came to the conclusion that it was not time to throw in the towel.
“I learned a lot from it and I’m very happy to be back. The coach says he wants me in the squad. I feel that I still have a lot to give and I want to keep it going.”
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Ronaldo, who is about to make more history this week, declared that he want to play for his country’s team for as long as possible.
Ronaldo is on track to surpass Kuwait forward Bader Al-Mutawa, who now holds the record for most caps with 196, when he plays against Liechtenstein on Thursday in a Euro 2024 qualifying match.
“Records are always positive,” Ronaldo said. “They are my motivation. I like to break records and this record is special. I’ll be really proud if it happens, but I want to keep playing even more games, I don’t want to stop here.”