Football: Make this your last stop, Zidane urges Ronaldo

Real Madrid's coach, Zinedine Zidane, offers a press conference after the team's training session at Real Madrid's City in Valdebebas, Madrid, Spain on Nov 5, 2016.
Real Madrid's coach, Zinedine Zidane, offers a press conference after the team's training session at Real Madrid's City in Valdebebas, Madrid, Spain on Nov 5, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

MADRID • Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has called on Cristiano Ronaldo to follow in his footsteps by retiring at the Santiago Bernabeu, with the Portuguese the latest Real star set to sign a bumper new contract.

Spanish media reported yesterday that Ronaldo will follow Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in signing a deal tying him to the European champions until 2021, by which time he would be 36.

"What he has to do is finish his career here," said Zidane, despite another off-colour display by Ronaldo in yesterday's 3-0 La Liga win over Leganes. "Cristiano is unique for what he has done and what he is going to do."

Zidane retired in 2006 after five years with Real.

Ronaldo is by a distance Real's top scorer of all time, having smashed 371 goals in 360 games.

However, he has now gone five games without scoring at the Bernabeu - his longest drought since joining from Manchester United seven years ago.

"There is nothing wrong, he is not worried," insisted Zidane. "He looks good, he is motivated, he likes to scores goals and even more so in this stadium, but he is calm."

Bale scored twice as Real extended their La Liga lead to five points with a 3-0 win over Leganes.

The Welsh winger signed one of the most lucrative deals in football history last Monday to keep him at the club until 2021.

The Welshman struck twice in seven first-half minutes before Alvaro Morata added a third 14 minutes from time.

Barcelona would have closed to within two points at the top if they beat fourth-placed Sevilla away last night.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2016, with the headline 'Make this your last stop, Zidane urges Ronaldo'. Print Edition | Subscribe