Ronaldo extends Real contract until 2008

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The Independent Football

Ronaldo said yesterday that there had never been any question of him leaving Real Madrid as he extended his contract with the Spanish champions until 2008 yesterday.

The striker had been linked with other clubs and, perhaps inevitably, Chelsea had been frequently touted. But the lure of Russian roubles and living in London was not enough to persuade the 27-year-old to leave the club he joined from Internazionale soon after the 2002 World Cup in the Far East, where he played a key part in Brazil's success with eight goals, including two in the final.

Ronaldo admitted that there had been some approaches, although he did not mention any individual club.

The three-times World Player of the Year said: "I had some clubs interested in me but I would prefer to be in a city where I can be happy and at a club that has supported and valued me. I have many motives for staying at the club.

"I'm not thinking of leaving," he added. "Renewing my contract is proof of that. 2008 is a long time and I hope I can retire here. From the first moment Madrid showed their interest in renewing my contract I had no doubt."

And, although he has previously expressed a desire to end his career with his hometown club Flamengo, the Brazilian said: "In this town and with this team it would be spectacular to end my career in Madrid, and I suppose that's what will happen. The club's intention is the same as mine and that's for me to be here for a long time."

Ronaldo, who joined Real after five injury-blighted years in Serie A with Inter, has scored 22 times in La Liga this season. However, he has not won the Champions' League with either club.

"I hope to contribute and score lots of goals. I have high hopes that I can get the trophies I am missing," he said.