Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is already looking towards life after football as he unveiled plans to invest over €37mil in hotels bearing his “CR7″ moniker in his native Portugal, Madrid and New York.
“Many footballers finish their careers without knowing what they want to do. For me it’s clear – I want to take care of my brands,” Ronaldo said.
The triple Ballon d’Or winner unveiled his plans to link up with the Pestana Hotel Group, who like him are natives of Madeira, with “CR7″ hotels planned in three cities linked to his career – Funchal, Lisbon and Madrid – and another in New York where he has been linked with Major League Soccer in the future.
“At 30 years I still have a lot of options, I have great support around me, I’m really very happy,” insisted Ronaldo, adding “other projects will come. What I want is that my name will always be the best in whatever domain I work”.
Although he hopes his footballing career will continue “another six, seven or even 10 years”, it is out of the question that he will follow a career on the touchline.
“I don’t see myself as a coach, it’s not my ambition,” he said. “But who knows if I’ll change my mind!”
The first hotel will open in Madeira in summer 2016 and will be followed by another in Lisbon where Ronaldo moved as a youngster with a Madrid site planned for 2017.
“My world is that of football but life changes and I always wanted to own a hotel,” he explained.
“It was impossible to throw myself alone into a project of this scale, to each his own area of competence. Pestana is the best Portuguese group in this business.
“The first project will be born in Madeira, where our roots and our families are,” explained the 123-times capped international star, adding that the hotel will be located close to the museum dedicated to his career that he financed at Funchal.
Pestana, founded in Madeira in 1972, is the biggest hotel group in Portugal and is present in 16 countries across Europe, Africa and America with 87 hotels, six golf courses and two casinos, with an annual turnover of €222mil.