Madrid - Ending weeks of speculation about his future,
Cristiano Ronaldo has told a Spanish newspaper he is staying put at Real Madrid
to plunder more silverware.
"To win important trophies with my club and the
personal honours last season was brilliant, to do it again would be nice,"
Ronaldo told the sports daily Marca on Tuesday in an interview from Shanghai.
Ronaldo's declaration of intent to remain at the Bernabeu
for the upcoming season comes despite rumours of his departure which surfaced
last month in Portuguese newspaper O Globo.
Those reports were founded on his apparent feeling of
abandonment by his club over his run-in with the Spanish tax authorities.
Ronaldo, 32, has been summoned to appear before a judge near
Madrid on July 31 to answer four counts of evading $16.8 million in taxes.
The four-time Ballon d'Or winner has protested his innocence
with O Globo saying he had threatened to leave Real over the investigation.
Since extending his contract last November until 2021,
Ronaldo is the highest paid sports star in the world with $93 million in
2016-2017, according to Forbes magazine.
On Saturday Real manager Zinedine Zidane assured Real
supporters that the superstar striker "was on holiday and would be back
with us on (August) 5".
Ronaldo has been given leave to miss the club's pre-season
US tour and Zidane, speaking in Los Angeles, insisted that he would be back at
the club "on the fifth (of August) and I think he'll stay for the next two
or three years he's got left with us."
In Tuesday's Marca interview Ronaldo also looked ahead to
the 2018 World Cup with European champions Portugal.
"We still have to qualify but I'm hoping that Portugal
can win an incredible title."