Cristiano Ronaldo hints he could play into his FORTIES as Man Utd star eyes 2026 World Cup campaign with Portugal

FORGET the 2022 World Cup – Cristiano Ronaldo has hinted that he could be there in 2026.

The Manchester United and Portugal star will be 41-years-old by the time that particular tournament comes around.

Ronaldo has hinted at a 2026 World Cup appearanceCredit: EPA

Portugal can qualify for the 2022 edition with victory over North Macedonia in their play-off final tomorrow, and ahead of the game CR7 refused to rule out lining up at the tournament in 2026.

Ronaldo’s mum Dolores Aveiro recently revealed Ronaldo planned to play until he is 40, meaning he’d only have to hang on for one more year to make the USA, Mexico and Canada’s joint World Cup.

Speaking on his future Ronaldo told the media, as reported by AS, that when he bows out it will be on his own terms.

He said: “I am beginning to see how many ask themselves the same question. I am the one who will decide my future.

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“If I want to play more, I will do it. I command [myself], period.”

Ronaldo has already played at four World Cups and is aiming to make it five with victory over minnows North Macedonia, who knocked out Italy last week.

He and Lionel Messi will become just the fifth and sixth players in history to play in FIVE World Cups if they both run out in Qatar later this year.

But Ronaldo hasn’t ruled out the prospect of making it six.

First though his attention is firmly focused on beating North Macedonia tomorrow night at Porto’s Estadio do Dragao.

He said: “It’s a final and we’re ready. If we’re favourites? I don’t understand that very well, but I always consider myself a favourite, at home or away.

“We already know that if we win we go to the World Cup and if we lose we’re out. We have the responsibility to be positive and win the game.”

North Macedonia will be quietly confident of repeating another giant-killing, with Ronaldo questioned on the prospect of a World Cup without him if Portugal fail to get the job done.

But he insisted: “There is no World Cup without Portugal. There are no individuals here, it is a group, we are all.

“Macedonia surprised and did so in many games, but I think tomorrow it will not surprise us Portugal will be better and we will go to the World Cup.”

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