Sir Alex Ferguson ‘cannot imagine’ Cristiano Ronaldo making 2026 World Cup

Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson doesn’t expect to see a 41-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo starring for Portugal at the 2026 World Cup.

While Ronaldo has already admitted that this will be his final Euros, it’s not clear yet whether he intends to lace the boots up at the World Cup in 2026. Yet in the opinion of Ferguson, Ronaldo would struggle to make an impact at the tournament due to the growing demands that would be placed on his 41-year-old body.

It’s been a difficult competition for Portugal’s Ronaldo, who has cried, screamed and, most notably, failed to score en route to the quarter-finals. The nadir came in the round-of-16 clash against Slovenia, in which Ronaldo seemingly ignored all team elements of football and tried single-handedly to drag the Selecao through, all of which ended with him missing a penalty and apologising to Portugal’s fans.

Father Time remains unbeaten and Ferguson, who helped shape Ronaldo into a superstar at United, doesn’t believe the forward will be able to play at the highest level required at the next World Cup.

When asked if he expects to see Ronaldo at the tournament, Ferguson told SportBild: “I can’t imagine that. Football will become even faster and more athletic in the coming years. In addition, the space for central strikers will become increasingly smaller. In contrast to defenders, it is more difficult for strikers to play at the highest level when they are older.”

Ferguson did, however, add that he considers Ronaldo to be “one of the greatest players of all time”, and doesn’t believe he has anything more to prove. “One or two more titles would not mean much to him,” said the former United boss. “Because he has had a unique career.”

France await Roberto Martinez’s side in a mouth-watering quarter-final matchup on Friday, with the victors just two wins away from European glory. Ronaldo will be desperate to silence those calling for him to be dropped when he comes up against Mbappe and Co.

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