The 5-time Ballon d’Or winner is currently with the Portugal side appearing in the group stages of the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League. Cristiano Ronaldo lifted the inaugural UEFA Nations League in 2019, and Portugal already have a 100% record so far in the tournament this year.
In addition to the UEFA Nations League, Cristiano Ronaldo has also won the European Championship with Portugal, doing so in 2016. However, the FIFA World Cup has eluded the former Real Madrid footballer so far. The farthest he has managed at the World Cup is a run to the semifinal in his first appearance in the tournament in 2006.
Cristiano Ronaldo has seven goals from 17 appearances in the FIFA World Cup till date and scored four goals in as many games in the 2018 edition of the competition in Russia, which is his best return in a single edition of the quadrennial tournament.
Cristiano Ronaldo confirms that the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will be his last
If Portugal qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which they are likely to, the Juventus footballer will be 37 years old.
Given his unbelievable fitness regime, many fans expect him to continue donning the national team jersey into his 40s. However, Cristiano Ronaldo might have given the world a harsh reminder that all good things, sooner or later, have to come to an end.
Speaking to the press ahead of Portugal’s UEFA Nations League game against France, Cristiano Ronaldo was asked about his future and the FIFA World Cup.
The Portuguese’s reply must have broken a lot of hearts around the world. Cristiano Ronaldo seemed to hint that he was not thinking of retirement any time soon, stating that he was still fit to continue, but he did go on to mention that the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be his last.
Cristiano Ronaldo broke into the football scene with Manchester United where he won his first Ballon d’Or in 2008. His next four arrived while he was at Real Madrid as he lit up the Santiago Bernabeu in his nine seasons with the Spanish giants.
It was in Spain that he spiced up his rivalry with the magnificent Lionel Messi as the Messi vs Ronaldo debate became one of the hottest topics around the globe. Since moving to Italy, Cristiano Ronaldo has continued to dominate the headlines in his inimitable way, but his rivalry with his 6-time Ballon-d’Or-winning rival has refused to slow down.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi remain leagues apart from other players due to their consistency throughout their careers.
The Portuguese, in particular, seems to defy age with every passing year, prompting fans to believe that he would continue mesmerising them on the field for years.
However, the truth is that Cristiano Ronaldo, even with all his qualities, is bound to slow down someday soon. And the first indication that that unceremonious day will be upon us in a few years might just prompt us to enjoy him while he lasts.
The Portuguese has been sensational with the national team and has already crossed the 100-goal mark for his country. However, with Cristiano Ronaldo indicating that the 2022 edition of the greatest sporting spectacle on earth could very well be his swansong in national colours, a blockbuster end to the Messi vs Ronaldo debate could be expected in two years time in Qatar.Published 11 Oct 2020, 23:09 IST