Paulo Ferreira: ‘Feared’ Ronaldo can continue playing until the age of 40

Cristiano Ronaldo can continue playing until he is 40, according to his former Portugal team-mate Paulo Ferreira.

The Juventus striker is now 35 but remains one of the game’s most lethal finishers, as he underlined earlier this month by equalling the Serie A record for scoring in 11 consecutive appearances.

Ferreira, who played in four major international tournaments with Ronaldo between 2004 and 2010, is not in the least surprised that his compatriot is still going strong at an age when most other forwards have either retired or are considering hanging up their boots.

“I’ve known Cristiano for a long time,” the former right-back told Goal at the London Football Awards. “His attitude, how professional he is, how hard he works – they are all outstanding.

“Until his body doesn’t allow him to play anymore, he will stay at this level. And I think he will last for four or five years more.

“He is still an important player who everyone respects. He is still feared because he can decide a game.

“I saw him develop of course. I played with and against him from the time he was 18 and he deserves to still be at this level for everything he has achieved and all the work he has put in.

“To still be playing at this level at 35, you have to look after yourself. You need to work hard, rest and eat properly.

“He does all that so when he says, he can go on until 40, I agree. Let’s see how his body handles it but if he doesn’t get injuries, then he can definitely do it.”