Cristiano Ronaldo has said his time with the Portugal national team is not over yet and he will play beyond the upcoming Qatar World Cup.
There has been speculation that Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – two of the greatest players to have ever graced soccer – are in the twilight of their careers and could end their international run after the FIFA World Cup, which will begin in November.
However, Ronaldo has rubbished those suggestions, saying he is aiming to represent Portugal even in the European Championship in 2024. The 37-year-old, who captained Portugal to Euro glory in 2016, has netted 117 goals in 189 appearances for his national team.
Ronaldo, who has won five Ballon d'Or awards and has represented Sporting Lisbon, Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United on the club level, recently received the best scorer award at the 2022 Gala Quinas de Ouro for being Portugal's all-time top scorer.
"I hope to be a part of the Federation for a few more years. I still feel motivated, my ambition is high. My path in the national team is not over. We have many quality youngsters. I will be at the World Cup and I want to be at the European," Ronaldo said at the award ceremony, according to talkSport.
"I am proud to receive an award of this magnitude. I never thought that one day I could achieve it. I thank everyone who was important in my career. It has been a long road, but I would like to say that my road is not over yet," the Manchester United superstar added.
Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who plays with Ronaldo at Old Trafford, has backed the latter's decision.
"Whoever could believe that he didn't want to be at that European Championship doesn't know him. We know well the resilience, taste, and ambition he has shown over the years. It's not new. We know that Cristiano wants to achieve things that others have never achieved. He will always have the same importance. He is the best player in the world, and he will continue to overcome barriers that others cannot," Fernandes told reporters Wednesday, reported ESPN.
The international break is on now and the duo are gearing up for Portugal's upcoming Nations League fixtures against the Czech Republic and Spain.