‘No reason why Ronaldo can’t play until he’s 40’ – Berbatov backing ex-Man Utd team-mate to follow Giggs’ lead

Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus 2019-20
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The Juventus ace has stated that he wants to play for at least another five years, with a former colleague at Old Trafford expecting him to do so

Cristiano Ronaldo has stated that he intends to play on past his 40th birthday and former Manchester United team-mate Dimitar Berbatov sees no reason why the Portuguese cannot deliver on that promise.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has turned 35 and would be expected to be approaching the end of his playing days.

Ronaldo has, however, shown over the course of an extraordinary career that he is no ordinary footballer.

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Another 33 goals for club and country have been added to his record-breaking tally this season, with there no sign of him slowing down.

With that in mind, Berbatov believes a man he once played alongside at Old Trafford is capable of following in the footsteps of Ryan Giggs and remaining at the top of his game when entering a fourth decade.

Berbatov told Betfair: “Cristiano Ronaldo, turned 35 this week and is still at the top of his game. He's scored 33 goals this season which is phenomenal.

“Ronaldo has said he wants to be playing at the highest level when he's 40. I can see him doing that. Ryan Giggs was playing for United at 40 and, when you have good coaches around you who know how to manage you, it is possible.

“The Portuguese star is still fired up and it is a joy to me to see him, and 38-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic, performing brilliantly. I did ask myself recently if I had retired too soon. But you need to listen to your body and know when to stop.”

Gareth Bale Real Madrid 2019-20

Another of those that Berbatov once played with in England, and a former team-mate of Ronaldo at Real Madrid, is Gareth Bale.

The ex-Tottenham star has seen another transfer window close, but exit talk at Santiago Bernabeu refuses to go away.

Bale’s agent has stated on a regular basis that no move will be made and Berbatov believes the Wales international will honour his contract in Spain.

The Bulgarian added: “Gareth Bale's agent has said the player has no intention of leaving Madrid, even though he nearly signed for a Chinese team last summer and there are rumours about where he could be off to at the end of this season.

“When journalists and fans talk about transfer rumours they often only think about the player's role in his team and forget that there are other factors, including how the player's family feel. If the player and his family are happy in the city then he could be content at a club.

“I read that Bale's family really like living in Madrid, so it could be that he does stay. As long as he's at the club, Bale will play and his performances show that he still has a lot to offer them. But I would still like to see him starting every week.”