Solskjaer expects Linford Cristiano to play into his 40s

Date published: Saturday 25th September 2021 9:43 - Matthew Stead

Linford Christie and Cristiano Ronaldo

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has paid his weekly tribute to the physical condition of Cristiano Ronaldo.

With four goals in as many games since his return to Manchester United, Ronaldo has started life back at Old Trafford in impressive fashion.

His impact off the pitch has been almost as revered as that on it, with new teammates reportedly petrified of eating dessert in his vicinity.

Solskjaer described those claims as “obviously a joke”, adding that “it’s not like we lived with junk food before Cristiano came and he changed it all”.

“I think he’s proven over the years how to look after himself and I think he’ll be an example for many other players in how to look after yourself and how to prolong your career because I said it myself, when you retire you look back and it’s the best time of your life,” the Manchester United boss said at the time.

So enamoured is Solskjaer with his new signing that he expects he can play into his 40s.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he still played when he was 40, not at all, because of the way he looks after himself.

“That’s the key to it – and of course some genes. There must be some genes as well, some DNA in there.

“He has put every single ounce of energy and effort into becoming the player he is and has been, so he deserves every single little plaudit that he gets for his physical state.

“What’s more impressive is when you have achieved as much as he has, he’s still as hungry. His mentality is still absolutely spot on and that’s desire from inside that he’s going to keep going until his head says, ‘no, I’ve given everything now’.

“Hopefully it will last a few more years. Linford Christie was quite an age when he won his gold as well, so age is never a problem.”

Linford Christie was 32 when he won 100m gold at the 1992 Olympic Games. Ronaldo is 36. But point taken.

“He’s still one of the quickest players in the league and I’m still happy with his physical condition.

“But of course he’s back into the Premier League and there’s maybe more intensity than the Italian and the Spanish leagues, so we’ll have to manage his workload.

“But he’s there to score goals, of course, and to create goals.”

Can he break Gianfranco Zola’s record? Graham Alexander and Teddy Sheringham are quaking in their slippers.

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