At 36, most football players are in the twilight of their careers.

Cristiano Ronaldo may not be scoring 60 goals a season as he twice did for Real Madrid, but he is still playing at a prolific level.

Last season he finishes as Serie A’s top scorer and also netted more non-penalty goals than any player in the division.

Now back at Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to continue his journey at the top.

Ronaldo has signed a two-year contract with an option of a third.

Manchester United v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Final
(Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

Just don’t rule out him continuing to play even longer, whether that be at United or elsewhere.

Ronaldo’s former fitness coach at United, Mick Clegg, spoke to Talksport last year and backed him to show his longevity.

Clegg said: “Before Ronaldo, the best athlete in terms of work on his body was Ryan Giggs.

“He was the strongest, the most attentive to details. If Giggs played at United until he was 40, Ronaldo can play till he is 41.

“Cristiano was the only one able to go beyond the high standards of Giggs.”

He went on to add: “He’s going to stay close to the top because he’s obsessed with being the best ever.”

 

Motivation

Ronaldo has set nearly every individual record in football. And he wants to hang onto them.

He learned an insatiable attitude to winning under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

Now in sports across the world, top athletes are able to play for longer and longer as they look after their bodies.

LeBron James in the NBA is comparable to Cristiano Ronaldo. He too is 36 and still going strong.

In the NFL, Tom Brady is redefining what is possible, winning another SuperBowl at the age of 43 this past year. Now 44, he is ready to go again and aims to play until he is at least 45.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still playing at a high level at the age of 39 and Ronaldo could look to go past him.

Giggs redefined himself at United to convert his game into a central midfield role in later years, retiring in 2014 at the age of 40.

Juventus  v Udinese Calcio - Serie A
(Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)

Whether Ronaldo sees out his career with United, or eventually makes one last homecoming to Sporting, he is well capable of playing into his 40s.

His attitude and approach off the pitch is meticulous, and the temptation to extend his individual records so they can never be beaten, will be hugely tempting.

Ronaldo wants to be remembered as the greatest player of all time.

Playing at the top level into his 40s will go a long way to helping his case.

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