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How Long Will CR7 Continue Playing?

Photo by Portuguese Gravity on Unsplash

The longevity of professional football players has improved in recent years thanks to sports science, diets, and a better understanding of how to conduct themselves off the pitch. Few players exemplify this better than Christiano Ronaldo who is still performing at a high level at the age of 39.

As any professional football star gets older, questions will be asked about whether they plan to retire from international football or if they plan to move into coaching. Ronaldo is no different and his adoring fans will be keen to hear what his next chapter will be.

Ronaldo and Portugal

Many critics think that Euro 2024 will be Ronaldo’s last international tournament with Portugal and head coach Roberto Martinez remains a big fan of what Ronaldo can still bring to the team. Beyond his obvious talent and experience, Ronaldo’s sheer desire to win could be a driving factor for Portugal's chances.

Fans exploring the best football betting sites will find Portugal as joint fourth favourites for the tournament with Spain. Only Germany, France, and favourites England are seen as having a better opportunity to lift the trophy this summer.

Betting expert Lewis Humphries has explored the betting odds for the next big International tournament and discovered that on an individual level, Christiano Ronaldo is the bookmaker's third favourite to finish the tournament as the top scorer, with only France's Kylian Mbappe and England's Harry Kane having shorter odds at the top crypto sports betting sites.

As the men's leading international goalscorer with 128 goals from 205 appearances, he will be hopeful of extending his record even further.

Ronaldo's current intentions seem to be geared towards not only competing in this summer's European Championship but also ending his international career at the 2026 World Cup.

By the time the World Cup comes along, Ronaldo will be 41 but he can take inspiration from legendary Cameroonian striker Roger Milla who is the oldest outfield player to feature at a World Cup, playing at the 1994 finals at the age of 42.

Al Nassr

Ronaldo's move to Al Nassr in 2023 made headlines across the world for a number of reasons. One of the biggest was the record-breaking salary that he would receive. He signed a two-and-a-half-year deal worth £173 million per year, the biggest deal in football history.

It was also big news that one of the greatest players of all time was moving to the Saudi league. His return to Manchester United wasn't the fairy tale many had hoped for, despite a decent goal return. This led to his move to the Saudi Arabian Football Federation.

His move sparked a revolution in the game that saw other huge names like Karim Benzema, Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson, and Neymar move to the league.

Since joining Al Nassr, Ronaldo has continued his incredible scoring form by scoring 56 goals in 62 games for his new club.

Players like Ronaldo will always be linked with moves to other clubs. Despite his age, he is proving he can still compete on the domestic and International stage, and the financial benefits clubs will get from signing a player like this would make it worthwhile beyond footballing reasons.

Despite options, it had been reported that Ronaldo was keen to renew his Al Nassr contract until 2027. This would take him beyond the 2026 World Cup and many think he could retire from playing after this.

How Ronaldo Has Enjoyed Such a Long and Successful Career

Prolonging a playing career and being able to play at the top level eludes many football players, but CR7 has achieved this incredible feat. His dedication to the sport has seen him stick to a regimented diet and exercise regime, but it is his adaptability that allowed him to continue.

Most players who enjoy a long career need a bit of luck in the injury department, but Ronaldo has suffered from knee problems that might have had a more serious impact on his career if he did not learn to play with it.

Tendonitis of the knee has no cure and saw the tricky, pacy style of Ronaldo as a winger, transform into the powerful goal-scoring forward that we know today.

Potential Future Moves

Having shown a desire to stay at Al Nassr until after the 2026 World Cup, it is unlikely that Ronaldo will move to another club. Most comments from the player state that he is finished with club football in Europe, but rumours persist about a return to Sporting CP where he began his career.

Only time will tell whether he decides to move into the coaching side of the game when he does decide to hang up his boots. He had said in the past that he was not interested in becoming a coach, but did not rule it out.