Cristiano Ronaldo has said he hopes to play for another “four or five years” despite turning 37 next month.
The Manchester United forward received the FIFA Best Special Award at a ceremony in Zurich on Monday in recognition of breaking the world record for international goals in September last year previously held by Iran’s Ali Daei (109), with Ronaldo now on 115 goals for Portugal.
When asked by event co-host Jermaine Jenas about his “obsession” with the game and where it could take him, Ronaldo said he still has the same love for football as he did when he was younger, and gave an idea as to how long he intends to keep playing.
“I still have the passion for the game. Not just to score goals,” Ronaldo said. “It’s to entertain myself, because I have played football since I was five, six years old.
“When I go to the pitch, even in training, I still enjoy [it] and my motivation is still there. Even [though] I’m going to be 37 soon, I feel good, I feel motivated.
“I keep working hard, since 18 years old, and I continue. I love the game, I still have that passion and I want to continue.
“People ask me sometimes how many years more I am going to play, and I say I hope to play four or five years more.
“It’s all about mentally, because I think physically if you treat your body good, when you need your body, it will give it back to you, so this is what I do.”
Cristiano Ronaldo is the recipient of #TheBest FIFA Special Award!
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) January 17, 2022
Ronaldo has scored 14 goals in 22 games for United in all competitions since making a dramatic return to Old Trafford at the start of the current season, but recently indicated frustration at the recent form of the team.
The Red Devils currently sit seventh in the Premier League table, five points off fourth-placed West Ham and 24 points behind top of the table Manchester City, though with two games in hand over both.
Talking to Sky Sports last week, the former Real Madrid and Juventus marksman said: “I don’t accept that our mentality be less than being in the top three in the Premier League.
“I think to build up good things, sometimes you have to destroy a few things. So why not – new year, new life and I hope that we can be the level that the fans want. They deserve that.
“We are capable of changing things now. I know the way but I’m not going to mention it here because I don’t think it’s ethical on my part to say that.
“What I can say is we can do better – all of us. Manchester United belongs to important things, so we have to change that.
“I don’t want to be here to be in sixth place, or seventh place, or fifth place. I’m here to try to win, to compete.
“I think we compete but we are not yet in our best level. But we have a long way to improve and I believe if we change our mind, we can achieve big things.”