Cristiano Ronaldo has lavished praise on Francesco Totti and says the Roma midfielder is “one of the greats” who is proving that age does not matter.
The Italian celebrated his 40th birthday last month but is still playing for Roma, scoring his 250th goal for the club in the 3-1 defeat to Torino before the international break.
Ronaldo says he realised just how good the Italian was last season when Real Madrid faced Roma in the Champions League round of 16, Madrid winning 4-0 on aggregate with the Portuguese scoring twice.
“He [Totti] is one of the greats and continues to be one. I realized this last year when I faced him as an opponent,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I think he can even go on for another two or three years. It's important for young people, who have to understand that age does not matter.
“I personally never think of retiring. I see myself on the pitch for a long time. Whilst my body responds well, I will continue to do what I love the most."
Ronaldo also discussed Serie A and how he feels it is becoming one of the strongest leagues in Europe once again thanks to an influx of quality players.
“Inter and Juventus wanted to give me an opportunity to play in Italy, but my dream was to play in Manchester and I went there,” he added.
“A challenging league, and after a few tough years it is returning to the top. Very good players have arrived and the level of play has been raised.
“This is good for Europe too, because now in the Champions League, the most competitive teams will be there.”