Gary Neville and Ronaldo were team-mates at Manchester United
The Ex-Manchester United star says CR7 is obsessed
Neville has predicted that Ronaldo may play until his 40s
Former Manchester United star Gary Neville has hinted that Cristiano Ronaldo is not ready to retire despite his age, saying the 35-year-old could play until his 40s.
Neville stated that he sees Ronaldo playing for years to come and that he does not see the Real Madrid legend retiring until he surpasses Pele’s goalscoring record.
The Juventus striker has now scored a total of 725 career goals in more than 1000 appearances as a professional.
Brazil legend Pele ended his much-lauded 21-year career with 1,282 goals in 1,363 games, however most of these goals were scored in unofficial matches.
Pele’s official tally stands at 757 and that is just 32 goals shy of that of Ronaldo’s figure and Neville says that is Ronaldo’s main target.
“He just wanted to be the very, very best in the world and it’s so important to him,” Neville told SkySports.
“It’s an obsession. Absolute obsession with scoring goals. Applying himself every single day, being the fittest he can possibly be.
I think he’s lifted his professionalism every single year and progressed.
“Jamie (Carragher) mentioned before about James Milner wanting to play into his late 30s and 40s.
I think he [Ronaldo] has a plan to go on and take over Pele’s record.
“I genuinely believe he wants to go on and beat Pele’s numbers.
“That’s where I think he’s at in his mind, he wants to be the greatest of all time, that is his sole purpose, understanding that along the way if he is the greatest of all time, the teams that he plays for will win trophies and be successful.
At 35, Ronaldo has won everything possible for club and country which has also earned him record titles including five Ballon d’Or, and as he moves into the twilight of his career, which other players have the potentials to succeed him?
As the world’s best, Ronaldo is keeping an eye on potential youngsters and in 2017, he named six players who could succeed him when he was asked.
“A very good question. I see some with great potential: Asensio, Mbappe, Neymar, Dembele, Hazard, Rashford, and some others,” he replied.