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Ronaldo’s last major tournament? Sir Alex Ferguson gives his verdict

As Euro 2024 approaches its climax, football legend Sir Alex Ferguson has voiced his belief that this tournament will mark Cristiano Ronaldo’s final major appearance with the Portugal national team.

The anticipation builds as Portugal gears up for their quarter-final clash against France this Friday, following a nail-biting penalty shootout victory over Slovenia.

Ronaldo, at 39, has had a challenging run at Euro 2024, failing to score in four matches. The iconic forward experienced a heartbreaking moment against Slovenia when his penalty was saved by Jan Oblak during extra time, though he redeemed himself by converting Portugal’s first penalty in the shootout.

Currently plying his trade with Al-Nassr in the Saudi Pro League, Ronaldo has already announced that this will be his last European Championship.

Ferguson, who managed Ronaldo for six memorable years at Manchester United, expressed doubt about Ronaldo’s participation in the 2026 World Cup. Speaking to SportBild, Ferguson stated, “I can’t imagine that.”

Ferguson elaborated on the physical demands of modern football, noting, “Football will become even faster and more athletic in the coming years. The space for central strikers will become increasingly smaller. Unlike defenders, it’s harder for strikers to perform at the highest level as they age.”

The former Manchester United manager believes that additional titles would not significantly impact Ronaldo’s legacy, saying, “One or two more titles would not mean much to him. He has had a unique career.”

Sir Alex Ferguson with a young Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester United signed Cristiano Ronaldo on August 12, 2003. At the time of his signing, Ronaldo was 18 years old.

In a poignant moment following Portugal’s victory over Slovenia, Ronaldo reflected on his journey, indicating that this tournament would indeed be his last European Championship. “It’s certainly my last Euro,” he admitted. “But I’m not moved by that, I’m moved by everything that football entails. The enthusiasm I have for the game, the excitement of seeing my fans, and my family, the affection that people have for me.”

Ronaldo emphasized that his motivation comes from making people happy, rather than accumulating more accolades. “It’s not because I’m leaving football, because if I do, what else is there for me to do or win? It’s not going to come down to one more point or one less point. Making people happy is what motivates me the most.”

Is Euro 2024 the final tournament of Cristiano Ronaldo’s illustrious career? Let us know on social media!