The Red Devils boss thinks Wayne Rooney is right in thinking that Cristiano Ronaldo will go on to emulate Ryan Giggs’ longevity.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Wayne Rooney have backed Cristiano Ronaldo to emulate former Manchester United teammate Ryan Giggs by playing football until he is 40.
Giggs ended a 24-year career in 2014 as the Premier League’s second-oldest outfield player at 40 years and 158 days old. The way he changed his game while his body aged has inspired many footballers.
At 36 years of age, Ronaldo has followed a similar path to Giggs by evolving his game. The pacey dribbles and neat tricks are gone. He has instead become a pure goal machine as an inside forward, enabling him to score a remarkable haul of goals for club and country in his twilight years.
“His ability is obviously one thing, but then he’s also looked after himself massively,” said Derby manager Rooney on Friday about Ronaldo. “You can see the shape he’s in, he’s still in great condition.
“So it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s playing until he’s 40, like [Ryan] Giggs did, and still scoring goals.”
Oldest outfield players to play in the Premier League
|Teddy Sheringham||West Ham United||40 years, 272 days|
|Ryan Giggs||Manchester United||40 years, 158 days|
|Kevin Phillips||Crystal Palace||40 years, 88 days|
|Gordon Strachan||Coventry City||40 years, 83 days|
|Bryan Robson||Middlesbrough||39 years, 356 days|
What does Solskjaer think?
Solskjaer, who confirmed Ronaldo will make his second Red Devils debut on Saturday, agreed with his former teammate Rooney’s prediction during a press conference on Friday.
“You have got Ryan Giggs, who played until he was 40. I am not going to be surprised if Cristiano will end at the same age,” said the Manchester United manager.
“Everyone evolves and they develop through their career. Of course, Cristiano is a different player to the one who left, but he is in such a good knick still and he’ll be looking at the next few years to play as much as he can, score as many goals as he can.
“He is adding something extra. We haven’t got his skill-sets in the team, the mix of his skill-sets. No one has really because he is, if not the, at least one of the best players that has ever played the game.”
For match details for Ronaldo’s Manchester United return against Newcastle, check out this link here.