Obsessed Ronaldo’s Lineker texts, game tweaks and how he’s prolonged career

Rio Ferdinand has offered some insight into his former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo’s remarkable longevity.

Ronaldo burst onto the world scene with Manchester United as an 18-year-old back in 2003 and he is still banging in the goals almost two decades later with Juventus.

The Portuguese superstar has won league titles in England, Spain and Italy and he recently became the first player to represent his country at five editions of the European Championships.

Ronaldo has also broken Michel Platini’s record as the tournament’s all-time leading goalscorer and he is closing in on the all-time goalscoring record in international football, which is currently held by Iran’s Ali Daei.

Cristiano Ronaldo recently became the first player to represent his country at five different editions of the European Championships (Photo by Christof Stache/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Despite turning 36 in February, Ronaldo has shown no signs of slowing down and Ferdinand, who spent six years playing alongside him at United, believes the forward “defies logic”.

Speaking on BBC One ahead of Portugal’s final group game clash with France, Ferdinand outlined how Ronaldo is “obsessed” with “becoming the best”.

Ferdinand also explained that Ronaldo “uses negativity as fuel”, revealing that the Juventus star has sent him texts about Gary Lineker – who has said in the past that he believes Lionel Messi is the better player.

“He was an obsessed human in terms of becoming the best,” Ferdinand said. “After 30, we all sit in here, went down. He has gone on. Accelerated. Defies logic really.

“It’s down to commitment, a little bit of luck genetically as well. But he’s just a phenomenal football player, somebody who thinks of every little detail, aspect of the game to try to get every ounce of ability out of himself.

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“It’s not just about physically but mentally. His touches have gone down since he was a young kid in 2004, but obviously the touches in the box where he’s going to affect games has gone up.

“That’s not just about your physical prowess and being able to do this and that quicker than anyone else. Or be stronger.

“You’ve got to think about where you are on the pitch as well – and I think he’s done that as well as anybody in terms of evolving as a football player.

“It’s a great example to young players and he uses negativity as fuel. You’ve [Gary Lineker] said some things like your preference would be Messi out of the two.

“He will send me a text saying ‘I can’t believe he said that, can’t believe he’s done that’. He just uses anything [as fuel].

“You think, he’s done so much in his life, ‘why do you care about what anyone says about you. You know you’re the guy’. It’s the competitive nature. That’s all it is. And you need that.”

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