Cristiano Ronaldo predictably said himself when asked how many players would be capable of playing at the highest level for more than ten years.

To the surprise of many, though, the Juventus forward named another player who is capable of playing at the top for so long.

“You count them on one hand. There are two, Messi and I.” Ronaldo said in an interview with France Football.
The five-time Balon d’Or winner went on to speak about how players tend to finish their career without having to really ‘maintain a level’ but that’s not Ronaldo’s style, is it?

“At my age no player would move to another big club for 100 million. At my age, and with respect to those who have done this, they go to China, the Emirates, or India, and finish their career without having to maintain their level.

“I know that one day this will end, in four, five, six years… you will find out.”
In the typically confident interview, he also mentioned how he ‘deserves’ a sixth Balon d’Or trophy, but insists he is not ‘obsessed’ by the prize.

“I said many times, winning a sixth Ballon d’Or is not an obsession,” he said.

“And I do not ask the question in these terms. I already know, in my heart of hearts, that I am one of the best players in history. Of course I want to win, this sixth Ballon d’Or. It would be a lie to tell you the opposite.

“I work for that. As I work to score goals and win games without being an obsession.

“I think I deserve it.”

Oh, and he also named the five rivals that he would need to beat for the award, leaving out Barcelona’s talisman off his list.

“The same as usual, even if I don’t know if Messi will be on the podium this time,” he explained.

“So, let’s say [Mohamed] Salah, [Luka] Modrić, [Antoine] Griezmann, [Raphaël] Varane, [Kylian] Mbappé — the French in general because they are world champions.

“But I will wait and see if all these players are still at the top in 10 years, like Messi and I have done, and like we continue to do.

“Still there, on the podium, since more than 10 years.”


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