Cristiano Ronaldo Says The Words No Football Fan Wants To Hear

When GOATs call time.

Cristiano Ronaldo Says The Words No Football Fan Wants To Hear

Whilst Cristiano Ronaldo has become the poster boy for maintaining peak physical shape well into your late 30s, the Portuguese footballer has looked a pace behind the rest of the competition during this year’s EURO 2024, hinting that he’s finally ready to call time on his illustrious international career.

Thanks to significant advancements in sports science, nutrition, and fitness, professional athletes today can compete at the highest level well into their 30s and 40s.

World-renowned athletes such as Tom Brady and LeBron James have enjoyed enviable careers at the height of their respective disciplines, with Brady eventually hanging up his boots aged 45, whilst Bron Sr. has just welcomed his 19-year-old son to join him at the Lakers for the first father-son duo in NBA history, aged 39.

Among these exemplary athletes, Cristiano Ronaldo stands out as a pinnacle of peak physical performance and is considered one of the greatest athletes of all time… but even GOATs know when their time is reaching its natural end.

RELATED: Cristiano Ronaldo’s Morning Routine Will Blow Your Mind… And Your Wallet

Cristiano Ronaldo misses the penalty that would have secured Portugal’s EURO win. Image: Getty

Cristiano Ronaldo was one of the best to ever do it

For more than two decades, the name Cristiano Ronaldo has invoked fear into the hearts and minds of defenders across the globe. The 5-time Ballon d’Or winner, famed for impeccable speed and pure power, has established himself as one of the greatest footballers of all time, sharing an intense rivalry with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in Spain’s premier league for the better part of a decade.

In the later stages of his career, Ronaldo has continued to make waves by playing in Saudi Arabia, spearheading a cultural movement and a significant rise in the region’s football popularity among veteran players. This season, Ronaldo finished as the league’s top scorer and set a new record for goals in a single campaign, setting the stage for one last hurrah with Portugal at the European Championships in Germany.

Cristiano Ronaldo has struck fear in the hearts of defenders his entire career. Image: Getty

Cristiano Ronaldo says this will be his last Euros

During last night’s tense clash with Slovenia in the competition’s Round of 16, Cristiano Ronaldo’s blushes were spared for missing a crucial penalty for his side in the final moments of the match, as Portugal’s Diogo Costa saved three penalties in the shootout to keep his country in the competition.

Ronaldo cut a distraught figure for his mistake, apologising to the Portugal fans who have serenaded him his entire career. After another below-average performance with his national side, Ronaldo felt like now was the time to make a decision and say the words no football fan wanted to hear.

WATCH Cristiano Ronaldo gives an emotional interview after Portugal’s penalty shoot-out win below.

“It is, without doubt, my last European Championship,” Ronaldo told Portuguese newspaper O Jogo after the game. “But I’m not emotional about that. I’m moved by all that football means — by the enthusiasm I have for the game, the enthusiasm for seeing my supporters, my family, the affection people have for me.”

Ronaldo will be 43 by the time the next Euros rolls back around, and whilst the Portuguese forward has continued to defy the typical age-related decline in performance, the prospect of competing at such a high level at that age is daunting, even for a player of his immense physical condition.