Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus, 2020-21Getty

Ronaldo backs ‘different’ CR7 to play until he’s 40 & questions Real Madrid’s sale of Hakimi

Cristiano Ronaldo has become a 'different' player since leaving Real Madrid and will be looking to play into his 40s, Brazil and Blancos legend Ronaldo has said.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner will turn 36 in February, with many starting to wind down when reaching that age.

He has, however, shown over the course of a remarkable career to date that he is far from being an ordinary footballer.

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Ronaldo has stated in the past that he intends to remain at the top for as long as possible, with there being no sign of him slowing down at Serie A giants Juventus.

Brazil's Ronaldo sees no reason why an all-time great cannot emulate the likes of Gianluigi Buffon and Ryan Giggs by playing into the fifth decade of his life, with R9 telling Gazzetta dello Sport of CR7: “I don’t know, for sure he will try.

“He is different from the player I saw at Real Madrid, he knows how to manage himself now. Did you see him against Sassuolo? Even if he stays in the shadows for the whole game, he can hurt in the space of one minute.”

Ronaldo has hit 84 goals through 107 appearances for Juve, having previously posted a record-setting haul of 450 efforts for Real in just 438 games.

The Blancos have struggled at times in his absence, with attacking verve missing from their ranks, and the Brazilian has questioned the transfer policy at the Santiago Bernabeu.

There was little they could do to prevent Ronaldo from heading for the exit once his heart had been set on taking on a new challenge, but the decision to part with Achraf Hakimi – initially on loan to Borussia Dortmund and then in a permanent deal with Inter – has raised eyebrows.

Ex-Nerazzurri frontman Ronaldo added when asked if Antonio Conte can deliver title glory at San Siro this season, with defending champions Juve next on the agenda: “They have a great coach and a team with a precise identity. In addition to that they don’t play European competitions.

“That’s never a good thing, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Inter earn more points than their opponents in March, when European competitions will resume.

“They signed an extraordinary player in Hakimi. It was a mistake for Real Madrid to let him go, sometimes I think: ‘Ronnie, imagine you and him. We would go at a decent speed.”