Cristiano Ronaldo launches hotel with eye on post-Real Madrid future
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo says his new hotel ventures form part of preparing for his life after football -- although the 31-year-old says he still sees himself playing for another decade or so.
Ronaldo flew straight to Lisbon after Madrid's disappointing 1-1 La Liga draw at home to Eibar on Sunday afternoon, where later in the evening he officially opened the Pestana CR7 Lisboa hotel.
"Life is not just about football," Ronaldo said. "Although football is my grand passion, I must start to think about the future. I don't have many years left, about 10 more or less, so I must look to the future."
The 82-room Lisbon hotel is the second opened under the relationship between Ronaldo and established Portuguese chain Pestana, with the first being located on the player's home island of Madeira. Rooms at the Pestana CR7 Lisboa start at around €200 a night and go up to €1,250 for a stay at the rooftop CR7 suite, which is equipped with a 48" HD TV, PlayStation 4 with virtual reality glasses & games, and cardio work-out equipment.
The Pestana CR7 Lisboa website explains how visitors to the hotel get to explore the life story of the hotel's patron.
"The CR7 experience begins as soon as guests step in the lobby from the animated screens in the lifts that explore Cristiano Ronaldo's life story to the surround sound sensors in the staircases which project the sounds of cheering fans in a football stadium," the blurb reads. "In the rooms, the world of sports continues with a detailed sequence of seven footsteps on the carpets that replicated the real sprint of Ronaldo."
Marca say that €15 million has been invested in the partnership between Pestana and Ronaldo, with two more hotels planned for Madrid and New York.
"When I was young I had the dream of having my own hotel," the ex-Sporting Lisbon player added at the launch. "Now I have two, and I am proud it is in Lisbon. I couldn't not have a hotel in Lisbon, a city which is part of my history as I have played here."
Also present at the event on Sunday evening were Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes and Portugal national coach Fernando Santos, along with Portugal's minister of economy Manuel Caldeira Cabral and Ronaldo's mother Dolores Aveiro and son Cristiano Jr.
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan