Cristiano Ronaldo has won just about every major trophy a footballer can dream of, yet he has failed to claim a notable award.
The Portuguese star has yet to win a World Cup and now is the time for the veteran to prepare for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Ronaldo, however, enjoyed an extraordinary longevity by prioritizing his health early in his career.
But every great player has to hang up his boots at some point, and Ronaldo’s retirement could be just around the corner.
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When will Ronaldo retire? CR7 view on retirement date
Despite speculation earlier this year that Ronaldo may be imminently retiring, the current United player has regularly dismissed such reports.
In September 2022, the star forward actually announced that he wanted to play for Portugal at Euro 2024 after becoming the men’s top scorer internationally.
“It’s been a long road, but I would say my path is not over,” Ronaldo said.
“I wish to be a part of the [Portugal] Federation for a few more years. I still feel motivated; my ambition is high. I’m on a team with young people.
“I want to be part of this World Cup and Euros; I’ll make that decision right away.”
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Ronaldo also spoke about his retirement plans in an interview with Piers Morgan in November 2022.
“I want to play two more years, three more years. So two or three years at most. I want to finish at 40. I think 40 is a good age … but I don’t know, I don’t know the future,” he said.
“Sometimes you plan an event for your life, and as I’ve said many times, life is dynamic and you never know what’s going to happen.”
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) May 15, 2022
Just days after the interview, Ronaldo and United have both agreed to part ways, with it unclear where he will go next and how strong the club will be. Still, that could affect how long he decides to keep playing.
Ronaldo age: Will 2022 be his last World Cup?
Ronaldo will be 37 when he plays in Qatar and his age suggests 2022 will be his last World Cup.
By the time the 2026 World Cup approaches, the Portuguese star will be 41, an age at which it may be physically difficult to continue playing.
Ronaldo has confirmed he will hang up his national team boots if Portugal are to triumph in Qatar.
“Yeah. Retired. 100 percent,” he said in an interview with Piers Morgan.
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Ronaldo’s World Cup record
Like fierce rival Lionel Messi – who at the age of 35 has said the 2022 World Cup will be his last – Ronaldo has yet to lift the trophy from his previous four attempts.
His closest appearance was in 2006, when Portugal finished fourth.
Ronaldo has scored in each of the past four World Cups and scored his first hat-trick in the 2018 World Cup.
|year 2006||fourth place||6||1|
|2010||Round of 16||4||1|
|2018||Round of 16||4||4|
When do players retire?Ronaldinho, Zlatan and other stars
Most footballers usually retire in their 30s, but the retirement age has been pushed back in recent years.
Goalkeepers typically get the most minutes, with Gianluigi Buffon, 44, still playing for Parma in Serie B.
Players off the pitch are usually more prone to struggle with wear and tear, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic is overcoming difficulties and injuries at the age of 41 at AC Milan.
Even more impressive is Zhiliang Miura, who is 55 years old and still plays in the Japanese fourth tier.
Stars of the past usually hang up their boots earlier than most would like, with Brazilians Ronaldo and Ronaldinho both retiring at 35.
Diego Maradona hung up his boots at 37, and Pele stopped playing at 37.