Cristiano Ronaldo does not rule out leaving Real Madrid

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The Guardian

Cristiano Ronaldo has not ruled out leaving Real Madrid, saying his future is still undecided. The 30-year-old has been regularly linked with moves away from the Spanish side, with his former club Manchester United often touted as a possible destination as is Major League Soccer.

Ronaldo, whose contract with Real Madrid expires in 2018, has not yet decided what path his career will take next but is not offering any guarantees about finishing his playing days at the Santiago Bernabéu where Real play Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday.

When asked by the German magazine Kicker if he could imagine leaving, Ronaldo replied: “Why not? I’m a Real Madrid player at the moment, but you can never know. You’ve got to do what makes you happy. Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow. All I can say is that I will always give my best for my club and for Portugal.”

That best may be enough to earn him a third successive Ballon d’Or in January, although Lionel Messi is regarded by many as the favourite, having impressed in Barcelona’s treble-winning season.

Ronaldo, Real’s record goalscorer, has no doubts who he thinks is the leading player in the world. “Perhaps for you the best is Messi, another may think it’s Andrés Iniesta. I respect that but for me I’m the best.”

Real host Paris St-Germain in the Champions League marquee game against on Tuesday when they welcome James Rodríguez back into the squad after injury though he may not make the starting line-up. “He’s on the list, he’s better. That does not mean he starts. He lacks match fitness,” said the coach Rafa Benítez.

Also back is the captain Sergio Ramos although Raphael Varane and Pepe are expected to start in central defence. Real continue to be without Gareth Bale, who limped off against Shakhtar Donetsk on 15 September, and their striker Karim Benzema.

The PSG coach Laurent Blanc was pleased to come through Friday’s Ligue 1 match at Rennes with a 1-0 win thanks to a goal from the former Real midfielder Ángel Di María and without sustaining any injuries to key players.

Blanc, whose side are also unbeaten this term, has been without his centre back David Luiz after he sustained a knee injury on duty with Brazil last month.

Real and PSG drew 0-0 at the Parc des Princes last month in their first competitive game in more than 20 years and are tied on seven points from three of six matches. Tuesday’s rematch will be refereed by Mark Clattenburg.

A win for either side would earn a place in the last 16 should Malmo lose at Shakhtar Donetsk.

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