The 36-year-old signed a two-year contract with Manchester United, which could be extended for a further 12 months and is in line to make his second debut for the club this weekend
Wayne Rooney is backing Cristiano Ronaldo to replicate Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs by playing until he is 40.
The 36-year-old signed a two-year contract on deadline day, returning to Old Trafford 12 years after his first spell at the club ended.
His current deal comes with the option to extend it for a further 12 months, which would take Ronaldo up until he’s 39.
But the Portuguese legend has already hinted that he is looking beyond that and could need another contract with the Red Devils.
“I am not here for a vacation,” Ronaldo told the club’s website. “As I told you, before was good, winning important things and I wore the shirt before many years ago, but I am here to win again.
“I am capable, me and my team-mates. I am ready to go, I am ready to go. It is a good chance for me, for the supporters, for the club, to get one step ahead.
“I am ready and I think I will be a huge thing in the next three or four years.”
Rooney knows a thing or two about Ronaldo’s dedication both on and off the field, having played alongside him more than 200 times during their time together at United.
And the Derby County manager thinks his old teammate has the kind of game that could see him still performing by the time he reaches 40.
“The last time he played here, he was more of a runner, a great dribbler, with pace and power,” Rooney said on Thursday.
“Whereas now, he’s a goalscorer. I think his game has adapted dramatically.”
He continued: “His ability is obviously one thing, but then he’s also looked after himself massively… he’s still in great condition. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s playing until he’s 40, like Ryan Giggs did, and still scoring goals.
“His team-mates will have to work a little harder. But if it’s anything like last time – towards the last two years of playing with him – the team allowed him to do that because he scores you goals, and goals win you games.”
Ronaldo is in line to make his second United debut on Saturday, when they take on Newcastle at home and he has told manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer he is ready to start.
“Of course I will be nervous on Saturday, but I am more mature, I am more experienced,” he explained.
“I will be prepared and I am going to make pressure to Ole now to start in the XI [laughs]. I am ready to go!”