Cristiano Ronaldo has won just about every major trophy a soccer player dreams of, but one notable prize has eluded him.
The Portuguese star has yet to win a World Cup and now it’s time to take on the veteran as he prepares for the 2022 tournament in Qatar.
However, Ronaldo has enjoyed remarkable longevity as he made his health a priority early in his career.
But every great player has to hang up their boots at some point and Ronaldo’s retirement could be just around the corner.
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When will Ronaldo retire? What CR7 said about the retirement date
Despite speculation earlier this year that Ronaldo could be close to retirement, the current Manchester United player has regularly denied such reports.
Indeed, in September 2022, the star striker revealed he hopes to play for Portugal at Euro 2024 after becoming the men’s top international goalscorer.
“It’s been a long journey, but I want to say that my journey isn’t over yet,” said Ronaldo.
“I hope to be a part of it [Portugal] bunch for a few more years. I still feel motivated; My ambition is high. I’m in a team with young people.
“I want to be at this World Cup and also at the European Championships, I’m assuming that.”
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Ronaldo also addressed his plans for retirement in November 2022 in an interview with Piers Morgan.
“I want to play two more years, three more years. So two or three years max. I want to finish at 40. I think 40 will be a good age…but I don’t know, I don’t know the future,” he said.
“Sometimes you plan one thing for your life and like 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 that interview, Ronaldo and Manchester United agreed to part ways and it’s unclear where he will go next and what caliber of club that might be. However, it may affect how long he decides to keep playing.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s age: will 2022 be his last World Cup?
Ronaldo’s age, who is set to turn 37 while he plays in Qatar, suggests 2022 will be his last World Cup.
By the time of the 2026 World Cup, the Portuguese star would be 41 and even his body would likely struggle to keep playing at that age.
Ronaldo has confirmed he would hang up his national team boots if Portugal triumphed in Qatar.
“Yes. Retired. 100 percent,” he said in his interview with Piers Morgan.
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Ronaldo’s World Cup record
Like bitter rival Lionel Messi – who at the age of 35 has said the 2022 World Cup will be his last – Ronaldo is yet to lift the trophy from four previous attempts.
He came closest in his debut appearance in 2006 when Portugal finished fourth.
Ronaldo has scored at each of the last four World Cups and scored his first hat-trick at the tournament in 2018.
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When do players retire? Ronaldinho, Zlatan, other stars
Most footballers generally retire in their mid-30s, but the retirement age has been pushed back in recent years.
Goalkeepers usually play the longest, with Gianluigi Buffon still playing for Parma in Serie B at the age of 44.
Outfield players generally struggle more with attrition but Zlatan Ibrahimovic is defying the odds and injuries at the age of 41 at AC Milan.
Even more impressive is Kazuyoshi Miura, who at 55 still plays competitively in Japan’s fourth division.
Former football stars generally hang up their boots sooner than most would have liked, with Brazilians Ronaldo and Ronaldinho both retiring at the age of 35.
Diego Maradona hung up his football boots at 37, while Pele also stopped playing at 37.