Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo gave an interview to ESPN Brazil and talked about his secrets to longevity.
Cristiano Ronaldo turns 37 at the beginning of February. However, don’t expect to see him slow down in the coming seasons. In an exclusive interview with ESPN Brazil, The Manchester United star revealed his goal of playing until he’s 40 and also shared his secrets to staying at a high level for so long.
“Genetically, I won’t say 25 so as not to exaggerate, but I feel like I’m 30. I take good care of my body and mind.” “It’s something I’ve learned in recent years: after 33, the body will continue to respect you when you need it, but the hardest battle is the mental one.”
“You go through many things to be able to maintain the high level, it is the most difficult thing. What I have been focusing on is the mental, because I know that the body is going to handle it, because I respect the body a lot and I give it a lot of pampering” , he joked.
Lebron James? Tom Brady?
Among the big names in sport who remain at a high level for a long time, Cristiano Ronaldo He would easily fit into the group that also has LeBron James (37 years old) in the NBA, Tom Brady (44) in the NFL or Roger Federer (40) in tennis. The Portuguese, however, avoid comparisons.
“I think it’s a very different point. You mentioned players with a lot of longevity well, but in other sports it is different. There is not, in my opinion, as much overload as in football. They also have a longer recovery period. They usually have three months of vacation… In tennis it’s more intense, they travel more… Well, I don’t want to talk about it, but I’ve also thought about it,” he said.
“I like to study a lot. Longevity is something that fascinates me in what I have been studying lately. But that is not what I want to talk about here. I am very happy. As a player I have shown that longevity has been a crucial factor to continue playing and enjoying. And maintaining a good level of performance”.
When he talks about continuing, Ronaldo has a goal on the horizon. The focus is on the present with United, but he plans to continue in football until he is 40 years old. “I’m happy, I want to stay here, let’s see what happens. If I reach 40 playing, 41, 42… But the most important thing is to enjoy the moment.”
And what is the recipe to follow for so long among the best in the world? The star does not hide its secrets. “I think a footballer’s ability is to have the intelligence to read a match. Experience gives us that. And I have experience, I know my body. I know when I can go, when I can’t,” he said.
“From my point of view, the ability we have is adaptation. It is the most appropriate word for a footballer, to be able to play for a few years. I managed to have that balance. Knowing how to adapt at each age to a new philosophy of the game, of your body , of your mind…”.
“I managed, with some intelligence on my part, to learn more and more, and I am proud that people continue to say that Cristiano at 37, 38 continues to maintain the level we are used to. This is not for everyone, it is dedication of many hours, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and being here competing with these 20-year-olds. That’s why I feel proud and I want to continue,” he added.
When he looks back, Cristiano Ronaldo does not regret anything he did in his career, from the beginning at Sporting, the first spell at Manchester United, the move to Real Madrid, the march to the Juventus and now the return to English football.
“I prefer to see things from a positive perspective, which is: all the experiences that I am going to have when I finish my career have been beautiful, regardless of the final results. Even without having won great things, and I think that all the clubs want to win the Champions, but all the experiences, decisions I’ve made, I don’t regret it. Life is like that, made of experiences, of moments, and I enjoyed everything I had.”
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Cristiano Ronaldo explains why he is different from LeBron and Brady and reveals at what age he wants to continue playing