Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo told reporters that he would decide when he steps away from the Portuguese national team.
Ronaldo is now 37 after his birthday in February meaning that at the 2026 World Cup in Canada, USA and Mexico, he will be 41, well beyond the time most footballers are still playing.
The striker made his international debut way back in 2003, and is the most capped Portuguese player and also the highest scorer in international football.
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"I'm starting to see that many of you ask the same question," Ronaldo said, reported Record. "I'm the one who will decide my future, nobody else. If I feel like playing more games, if I don't feel like it, I don't. I'm the one in charge, full stop."
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner's comments echoed those he made to broadcaster RTP when he said he has "always decided" his next move.
"I live one day at a time, tomorrow only God knows," he continued. "I enjoy football and I still feel useful both at the club and at the national team. I will decide when I want, not when they understand fans, family or journalists. I have always decided my life and that is what I will continue to do."
Portigal face North Macedonia in their playoff final with the winner advancing to Qatar for the tournament in November.
While North Macedonia defeated Italy to set up the tie, Portugal beat Turkey 3-1. Ronaldo called for support from his country’s fans at the Estadio do Dragao.
"For us, it's also the game of life," he stated.
"I want to thank the Portuguese for the unconditional support they gave throughout the game against Turkey. What I ask is that it is the same or even more, starting with the anthem. I would like the anthem to start, then stop and continue singing. If they are as they were on Thursday, I am sure we will win."
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