With his 30th birthday just three weeks away, Cristiano Ronaldo has brushed off any fears that father time is moving ever closer to catching up with him by revealing he plans on playing at the top level until he is 36.
The Real Madrid star won his third Ballon d’Or on Monday, beating off competition from Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer, and remains at the very peak of his powers.
But rather than fear the effects age will eventually have on his ability to perform, Ronaldo remains solely focused on maintaining his incredible standards well into his thirties.
“I’m exclusively devoted to training and making myself better and to maintain a good level until I’m 35 or even 36,” he told AS.
“You have to give up other things to be a success. There are many temptations. It is very difficult. Nothing is achieved without work. The dedication and work is the most important thing to me.
“Life is a puzzle and every day we must there is a new piece to add. To succeed we must have rules and discipline. Talent is useless without dedication and commitment.”
Ronaldo won his first Ballon d’Or in 2008 during his six years in England with Manchester United before departing for Madrid the following summer.
Having also won the Champions League with both clubs there are few feats he has yet to conquer in his career, and the 29-year-old has admitted his success has brought with it a sense of calm.
“I want to be the best in my profession,” he added. “If you don’t have that ambition you won’t win awards. It is more fun for me to play now, I don’t have anything to prove to anyone. But I remain ambitious and I have goals, I can’t work any less.”
The 29-year-old also discussed the impact of experiencing different cultures in England and Spain has had on him.
He continued: “When I went abroad I began to see things differently. I have the culture of three countries, Portugal, England and Spain.
“In England they are very professional and punctual, and that is something I treasure. They are very polite and friendly which I also love. In Spain there is an emphasis on being very positive and appreciating what they have. In Portugal we should learn from them.”