The goals of the week, 22.3 (Sport1)
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo claims that the end of his time at Manchester United was the most difficult transition of his career.
Ronaldo lost his place in the team's lineup at the beginning of the 2022-23 season, and in total made 10 appearances this season and only four times in the lineup.
In the end, he parted ways with the club, and signed a huge deal with Saudi Arabia's Al-Nasser West until 2025 - but along the way he went through a difficult World Cup (during which he lost his place in the Portugal team) and a lot of public criticism.
"Sometimes you have to go through some things to see who is on your side," said Cristiano, who also parted ways with his agent Jorge Mendes this year, "in a difficult moment, you can see who is on your side. I have no problem saying, I had a bad moment in my career , but there is no time for regrets."
Hardest moments in career.
Cristiano (Photo: Reuters)
According to him, "Life goes on, and whether it's good or not, it's been part of my growth. When we're at the top of the mountain, we often can't see what's below. Now I'm more prepared and this learning was important, because I've never been through anything like this, like In the last few months. Now I'm a better person."
Ronaldo has recently settled down a bit in the league in Saudi Arabia, with nine goals in eight appearances so far.
He was brought back into the Portugal squad by new manager Roberto Martinez, and will captain the team in the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.
He admits that he considered quitting the national team.
"Everything was taken into account after the World Cup," said Ronaldo, "I reflected with my family about it, and then we came to the conclusion that it's not the 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 team. I feel I have a lot more What can I give and I want to continue it."
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Enmity with Santos.
Ronaldo (Photo: GettyImages, PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP)
This will be Ronaldo's first appearance for Portugal since leaving Europe for the Saudi club.
He is set to break the all-time appearances record for a player in a national team, after equaling the record of Badr Al-Mutawa: 196 appearances in the Kuwait uniform.
"Highlights are always positive," Ronaldo said.
"They are my motivation. I like breaking records and this record is special. I will be really proud if it happens, but I want to continue playing even more games, I don't want to stop here."
Martinez takes over from Fernando Santos, who retired in December after Portugal's elimination by Morocco in the World Cup quarter-finals.
Santos left amid the disappointment and controversy of Ronaldo's bench in the knockout stage of the tournament in Qatar.
"This is a new chapter for everyone, the players, the staff and the country," Ronaldo said.
"We feel good energy. It's a breath of fresh air. I'm not saying it's better or worse than before, but sometimes in life changes are positive. There are new ideas, new thinking. You can feel it. You can feel the change and it's good for everyone."
Portugal national team