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It seems like Europe's rich and famous soccer players will consider Major League Soccer as a cozy place to glide into retirement for a while longer.
FOX Sports 1's Grant Wahl followed up on his earlier report that Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo plans to sign with the league when his Real Madrid contract is up in the summer of 2018 on Wednesday. Wahl reported that Ronaldo – who had originally been considering New York, Miami and Los Angeles as possible destinations – has narrowed it down to just Los Angeles.
That would mean he can either sign with the Los Angeles Galaxy, which currently employs Irish star Robbie Keane – who is to be joined by Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard this summer – or the new, tentatively-named LAFC, which is expected to begin play in 2017 or 2018.
Ronaldo will be 33 then and presumably coming off the next World Cup in Russia.
This news is fascinating for a host of reasons. For one, soccer is such a fluid world that few players can plan this far ahead – although the ones of Ronaldo's rare caliber retain more control of their destinies. Secondly, it presupposes that there will be the requisite interest, Designated Player slot and money available some three years from now, all of which is terribly speculative.
And thirdly, because, if Ronaldo remains somewhere in the vicinity of his prime, this would be the biggest coup in the league's history.
David Beckham's name has more crossover appeal as anybody's. But Ronaldo will likely be remembered as one of the five best players in the history of soccer. To get any of that refracted shine would be huge for MLS, even as it tries to shed that "retirement league" label.
It's all still terribly speculative at this point – which is certainly not to question Wahl's reporting; merely Ronaldo's apparent thinking – but this story bears watching.
For the next three years and change.
Leander Schaerlaeckens is a soccer columnist for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @LeanderAlphabet.