Cristiano Ronaldo has sent a warning to opposition defences by declaring he can still see himself playing professionally for another four-to-five years.
The 36-year-old, who turns 37 on February 5, has scored 19 goals in 26 appearances for Manchester United and Portugal so far this season – underlining he hasn’t lost the knack of finding the back of the net.
On Monday night at FIFA’s The Best award ceremony, Ronaldo was presented with the Special Award for his goalscoring feats with Portugal where he broke the international record with an incredible 115 goals so far.
Cristiano Ronaldo, 36, believes he can still play football professionally into his 40s
The Portuguese superstar turns 37 on February 5 but says his mentally allows him to carry on
The forward surpassed Ali Daei’s total (109 goals for Iran) in September 2021 in another landmark moment of his glittering career.
And when asked about his future, Ronaldo stated that he doesn’t see himself hanging up his football boots until he is in his 40s.
‘The people sometimes ask me how many more years I’m going to play, and I say I hope to play four, five more years. It’s all about mentally,’ he said.
‘I still have the passion for the game and to score goals. I play football since I was five years old. When I go to the pitch, even in training, my motivation is still there. Even 37 soon, I feel good.
‘I keep working hard. I love the game and have the passion. I want to continue. I hope to play maybe four or five years, It is all mental. If you treat your body good, when you need it, it will give back.’
He has scored 19 goals in 26 games for Manchester United (pictured) and Portugal this season
Ronaldo will go down as one of the all-time greats, having won multiple trophies at Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus. These include five Champions League trophies, seven league titles and six domestic cups, as well as five Ballon d’Ors.
And when asked about has led him to this sustained success over two decades, Ronaldo put it all down to one thing.
‘You have to sacrifice as without sacrifice you achieve nothing,’ he stated.
‘I started playing at the top level at 18 and I’ve been at the top of the game for 15-16 years.
‘It’s my dedication, my passion, my ambition to be working hard all the time.
‘This is why I continue to be at the top of the world in terms of performance, trophies, goals, records. I will continue.’
Ronaldo’s honours include five Champions Leagues (pictured winning in 2018 at Real Madrid)