Ross Kelly, CBS Local Sports
David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Didier Drogba, and David Villa are among a handful of international soccer stars who have made the move over to the US and played for the MLS. But don’t count on the world’s biggest soccer star to be joining them anytime soon…or ever for that matter.
Cristiano Ronaldo is now 30 years old and he thinks he has another six or seven years of top-flight soccer left in his legs. Any by “top-flight” he is definitely not referring to the MLS which has become the designated hitter of sorts for aging stars. In an interview on ITV’s The Jonathan Ross Show, Ronaldo talked about how, and where, he saw the rest of his career playing out:
“In my mind I want to finish in the top level. I want to finish with dignity so in a good club. It doesn’t mean that to go USA or Qatar or Dubai is not good but I don’t see myself [going].”
As the MLS attempts to build itself up as a legitimate and reputable soccer league, the sport’s biggest star just ‘swept the legs’ of the league. But maybe Ronaldo just feels this way at 30 and his opinion on the MLS could change in 3-4 years. His worldwide popularity is on par with Beckham’s from back in the day and if you asked Beckham during his prime if he saw himself in the MLS one day, he might have had the same response. (However, Beckham did have additional motives for joining the MLS).
No word on if Lionel Messi has/will consider playing in the MLS one day but you would expect his response to that thought to be much more ‘dignified’ than Ronaldo’s.