How long can Ronaldo keep playing for?

Friday 24 September 2021 22:30

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes forward Cristiano Ronaldo could continue playing at the top level well into his forties, as he addressed the media ahead of Saturday lunchtime's game against Aston Villa at Old Trafford.

The Portugal international has already netted four times since his summer move from Juventus and was rested in midweek as United made 11 changes, but unfortunately exited the Carabao Cup with a 1-0 home defeat to West Ham United at the Theatre of Dreams.

With the Reds' attention now turning back to the Premier League, hoping to extend the current unbeaten run in the 2021/22 division to six games, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has praised Cristiano’s impressive start to the campaign, insisting that United’s no.7 is still performing to the best of his abilities, even at the age of 36.

Press Conference: Aston Villa (H) Video

Press Conference: Aston Villa (H)

Watch Ole answer the media's questions on Cavani, De Gea, penalties and more...

‘’I wouldn’t be surprised if he was still playing at 40, not at all,’’ said the United boss at his pre-match press conference.

‘’The way he looks after himself, that’s the key, that’s the key to it all and, of course, some genes. There must be some genes in there! He has put every single ounce of energy and effort into becoming the player he is,’’ added the Norwegian.

The Reds boss also drew comparison with one of his former United team-mates who continued playing past the age of 40 in Ryan Giggs. The Welshman made 963 appearances for United in an staggering career spanning over 23 years with Ole also commenting on Cristiano’s own illustrious career he has carved for himself.

‘’He deserves every single plaudit that he gets for first, his own physical state but, even more impressively, when you have achieved as much as he has. He is still just as hungry as ever.

All nine of Ronaldo's goals against Villa Video

All nine of Ronaldo's goals against Villa

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more United goals v Villa than against any other team. Watch them all here...

‘’His mentality is still absolutely spot on and that’s just desire from inside of him and he’s going to keep going until his legs or even his head say no that’s it, I've given everything now,’’ added the United boss.

With the Reds looking to extend the unbeaten run in the Premier League, you can find out all the team news as it is announced both here and on the Official App from 11:30 BST, plus, whether Cristiano will continue his impressive goalscoring form with kick-off following just an hour later.