CRISTIANO RONALDO

"Obsessed" Cristiano Ronaldo "can play until he's 41", says ex-Manchester United coach

Mick Clegg, who helped build up Cristiano's physique at United, has discussed the star's dedication to looking after his body in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport.

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"Obsessed" Cristiano Ronaldo "can play until he's 41", says ex-Manchester United coach

A fitness coach who played a key role in building up Cristiano Ronaldo’s muscular physique early on in his career has backed the Juventus star to continue playing into his 40s, telling an interview in Italy of the 35-year-old's obsessive dedication to looking after his body.

Cristiano Ronaldo "obsessed with being the best ever"

Mick Clegg, who was part of Manchester United's backroom team during the Portugal captain’s six-year spell at Old Trafford, told Gazzetta dello Sport: "Before Ronaldo, the best athlete in terms of work on his body was Ryan Giggs. He was the strongest, the most attentive to details.

"If Giggs played at United until he was 40, Ronaldo can play until he's 41," Clegg added. "Cristiano was the only one able to go beyond the high standards of Giggs.

"Ronaldo will change his way of playing, maybe his role too, as happened with Giggs. He's going to stay close to the top because he's obsessed with being the best ever.

Cristiano "is attentive to details - this is the secret"

"He trains a lot, he takes care of recovery and sleep, he has a cook, he knows how to avoid stress. He is attentive to details - this is the secret, even if an injury can always arrive; it is not 100% predictable."

Clegg also backed Cristiano to surpass Czech legend Josef Bican, whose 805 strikes for club and country between the 1930s and 1950s make him the all-time record marksman in men’s football. "He will score more goals than Bican," Clegg declared.

Forward intent on Italy stay despite Juventus exit talk

Reports in the Italian media this week claim Juve are considering selling Cristiano at the end of the season, but AS understands the forward has no intention of leaving Italy, where he and his family feel happy and settled.

Read the full story on the player's future.

(English Gazzetta dello Sport quotes via Goal)