LISBON. — Cristiano Ronaldo told Portuguese television on Tuesday that “2018 was the most difficult year on a personal level.”
Ronaldo had to deal with rape allegations last year after former model Kathryn Mayorga filed a complaint in September alleging she was sexually assaulted by the footballer in 2009 in a Las Vegas hotel room.
The case was dismissed in a Nevada court in June, though the filing did not say if Ronaldo had agreed a settlement.
He denies the accusation, although he has reportedly acknowledged that he paid Mayorga in an earlier settlement.
“When people question your honour, it hurts,” he said on Tuesday.
“It hurts a lot mainly because I have a big family, a wife and an intelligent child who understands a lot of things.”
“This is a case I’m not comfortable expressing myself on. But once again, my innocence has been proven. It makes me proud,” said the Juventus and former Manchester United and Real Madrid star.
Ronaldo has also suggested he could pull the curtain on his prodigious career at the end of this season.
The 34-year-old penned a lucrative four-year deal with Juventus last summer and went on to help them to the Serie A title in his first season at the club.
However, Ronaldo has refused to rule out hanging up his boots in 2020 despite admitting he is in the shape to continue performing at the highest level for plenty more years to come.
He told Portugal TV station TV1: “I don’t think about that (retirement).
“Maybe I can leave my career next year . . . but I can also play up to 40 or 41.
“I don’t know. What I always say is to enjoy the moment.
The gift is excellent and I have to continue to enjoy it.”
Ronaldo finished as Juve’s top scorer last season with 21 goals in the league as they ran clear of Napoli to claim their eighth successive title. — AFP.