Cristiano Ronaldo indicated he has no plans to retire by saying he hopes to play on for “many, many years” despite preparing to turn 36 in February.
The Juventus forward has shown no signs of slowing his goal output, finishing the 2019-20 season with 31 goals and a second Serie A title before firing in 12 in 10 league appearances this term.
In 2020 he became the fourth player in the history of Italy’s top flight to score 33 goals in a calendar year after Omar Sivori (33 in 1961), Gunnar Nordahl (36 in 1950) and Felice Borel (41 in 1933).
That tally puts him top of the goalscoring charts in Europe’s top five leagues this year, ahead of The Best FIFA Men’s Player award winner Robert Lewandowski (32).
Portugal captain Ronaldo will be 37 by the time the 2022 World Cup kicks off in Qatar but hinted that he intends to be there.
“It doesn’t matter the age. What is important is the mind,” Ronaldo told BBC Sport, after being named Player of the Century at the Globe Soccer Awards this week.
“It doesn’t matter if Cristiano Ronaldo is good, you don’t know tomorrow what is going to happen. I live in the present, in the moment.
“The moment is good, I feel happy, I feel sharp and in a good moment in my life. I hope to play many, many years more but you never know.”
Ronaldo scored a brace in Juventus’ 3-0 win over Barcelona in the Champions League on December 8 and followed it up with doubles in Serie A victories over Genoa and Parma – either side of missing a penalty in a draw against Atalanta.
Despite his impressive form, the Bianconeri are sixth in the table, 10 points behind league leaders Milan, and Ronaldo admitted the absence of fans at the Allianz Stadium frustrated him.
“I don’t like to play in the stadiums without fans, it’s like going to the circus but you don’t see clowns,” Ronaldo said.
“The pandemic has made people crazy. I hope soon they can open the gates of the stadiums.
“We have to live with that, we have to try to do a normal life but of course we have to respect the rules. But to play without the fans, I really don’t like it.”