Cristiano Ronaldo backed to play until he's 40 by former manager Carlo Ancelotti

Aditya Devavrat 21:30 18/04/2019
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Cristiano Ronaldo is being backed to play until 40 and mentor Juventus team-mate Moise Kean.

Cristiano Ronaldo‘s former manager Carlo Ancelotti has backed the Juventus star to play until he’s 40 and help his team-mate Moise Kean develop into a world-class striker.

Napoli boss Ancelotti managed Ronaldo at Real Madrid, where the duo led the club to the 2014 Champions League title, setting of a period of unprecedented success in the competition as Los Blancos went on to lift the trophy four times in five seasons, though the last three came after Ancelotti left the club.

The Italian has retained his admiration for his former player, and says the 19-year-old Kean will benefit from playing alongside Ronaldo for the next five to six seasons. Ronaldo recently turned 34 but has previously said he could play until he’s 40, or beyond, an assessment supported by Ancelotti.

“His beginning of the year was amazing and there’s been careful management of the player, on and off the field,” Ancelotti said of Kean, as reported by Goal.

“He has the good fortune of training with a phenomenon of the calibre of Cristiano.

“He’ll play up to 40 years old because he not only has a great physique but he has the intelligence, the strength and the determination to improve every day.”

Ronaldo’s current contract at Juventus runs until 2022, which would take him to 37 in a league that has usually been kinder than the rest of Europe’s top five leagues for veteran players – though the former Manchester United star was planning to continue his career into the 40s long before he moved to the Serie A.

“When I renewed my contract I said I’d still be playing when I’m 41 – it was meant half-jokingly and half-seriously,” Ronaldo had said back in 2017, when he was still at Madrid. “If I feel good, without any injuries and I am still motivated, I’ll play until I’m 35, 41 or 45. I don’t know.”

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