Cristiano Ronaldo Wants to Play into His Early 40s: 'Genetically I Feel Like I'm 30'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 13, 2022

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03: Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford on January 3, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)
Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo will turn 37 years old next month, but he doesn't plan to step away from the soccer field any time soon.

"Genetically I feel like I'm 30 years old," Ronaldo told ESPN. "I take great care of my body and my mind. Something I've learned recently is that after 33, I believe the body can deliver if you need it, but the real battle is mental."

The Manchester United star has been effective since joining the team in the summer, scoring eight goals in 16 Premier League matches, plus six goals in five Champions League contests.

Only four outfield players have more minutes for United in the Premier League than Ronaldo (1,297) this season. 

He's aiming to keep it going into his 40s.

"I want to find out if I'm going to play until I'm 40, 41, or 42, but the most important thing is that my daily goal is to enjoy the moment," Ronaldo said.

Ronaldo might be a tad slower than his prime when he helped Real Madrid win four Champions League titles, plus another one with Manchester United. He scored at least 30 goals in La Liga in six straight seasons from 2010-16, topping 40 in three of those years.

His three-season stint at Juventus didn't go as well as planned, but he still helped the team win two Serie A titles while scoring 81 league goals across 98 appearances.

He finished sixth in the rankings for the men's Ballon d'Or, given to the best player in the world.

It showed he can remain effective deep into his career, even potentially in his 40s.

Teddy Sheringham was the oldest outfield player to appear in the Premier League at 40 years and 272 days, but Ronaldo could be coming for that record.