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Cristiano Ronaldo and the Long Walk

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It isn’t, after all, quite the coda to his glittering profession Ronaldo may need anticipated. It isn’t, in fact, the coda his achievements warrant. There may be scant reason to supply sympathy for that: His predicament, in spite of everything, comes with the not-irrelevant consolation of being the best-paid player at considered one of the world’s richest clubs.

But it surely is true, too, that Ronaldo is trapped by a function of recent soccer’s economics. Few players, if any, have done as much as Ronaldo, 37, to show the sport into the financial monster it has develop into; he has, for years, been considered one of the dual spearheads (and prime beneficiaries) of its relentless drive for global growth.

Now, though, he finds itself on the mercy of his own creation. All players, even the absolute best, reach an end. Their legs weary or their bodies creaking, they appear for a rather more comfortable place to spend their twilight years, somewhere the scrutiny is less glaring or the demands not quite as exacting or the duty a touch less mountainous than at the sport’s absolute peaks.

At times, whole leagues have served as an escape valve. European fans are inclined to sneer when players select to maneuver to Turkey or M.L.S. or (in former times) Russia and (briefly, brightly) China, nevertheless it is price considering that it isn’t so long for the reason that game’s great retirement home — the one which drew Ruud Gullit and Jürgen Klinsmann and all the remaining of them with a promise of fat paychecks and supine opponents — was the Premier League of the Nineties.

More continuously, though, there have been an entire solid of clubs who were willing to play that role. For the unique Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, it was a waning A.C. Milan. For his or her Brazilian teammate Rivaldo, it was Olympiacos. Even Diego Maradona, after not one but two drug scandals, could discover a secure landing spot for a time at Sevilla.

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