Cristiano Ronaldo’s playing future has been subject to intense speculation as he is “expected to leave Real Madrid” at the end of the season, with former club Manchester United reportedly among his many suitors. But he has already begun planning for life after football.
Ronaldo has unveiled his biggest non-football career project yet in the form of a £54million range of ‘CR7’ hotels in four cities, three linked to his career so far — Funchal, Lisbon and Madrid — and another one where he has been linked to move in the next few years, New York.
The former Manchester United player said, ‘I’m certain that this investment is surely one of the safest deals that I can capitalise on for my future’
The first hotel is expected to open next summer in Madeira, where Ronaldo was born. Following that will be one in Lisbon where he moved as a youngster and made a name as football’s next big gun. This is expected to open in late 2016. It will be followed by Lisbon – where he moved as a youngster and played for Sporting Lisbon – in late 2016. A hotel in Madrid, which is Ronaldo’s current home, is due to launch in 2017.
The hotel in New York is also expected to be launched in 2017 and it does gives an indication over where Ronaldo might find himself in a season or two. The rumors of the player following a David Beckham path might be true.
The Portuguese native will become a shareholder of Pestana’s international hotel chain, which will mark his first investment outside of fashion and sport.
Joking about what his involvement in the project will be, Ronaldo said, ‘I’ll take care of the beds!’
The two time Ballon d’Or winner admitted that he can’t be live off football forever as he prepares for life after his peak.
‘My job is to play football, but life won’t always be like this,’ Ronaldo said. ‘I have to dedicate myself to this new project and I have the best team in the world around me.
‘I am young but I feel very fulfilled so this project is exciting for me. I’m thinking about my future, and my son and my family’
This year, Ronaldo’s life with his son Cristiano was the subject of a documentary movie.