Cristiano Ronaldo will not retire until he has beaten legendary Brazilian forward Pele’s goalscoring record.
This is according to Ronaldo’s former Manchester United teammate Gary Neville.
Ronaldo, who remains in phenomenal physical shape at the age of 35, is credited with 725 goals as a professional.
His tally saw him become Real Madrid’s all-time leading goalscorer, and he netted in a fair few while playing for Manchester United and Juventus too.
But it is someway short of Brazil icon Pele, who according to records scored 1,281 goals during 1,363 appearances.
However, his tally included goals scored in friendlies, so Ronaldo currently sits some 556 short.
And Neville believes the Portuguese hero’s obsession with being regarded as the greatest footballer of all time means he wants to topple Pele.
“It’s an obsession, an absolute obsession with scoring goals, applying yourself every day, being the fittest he can possibly be,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“I think he’s lifted his professionalism every single year and progressed.
“I’ve got no doubts he wants to play, and Jamie [Carragher] mentioned James Milner wants to play into his late 30s – 40, I think he [Ronaldo] has a plan to take over Pele’s record.
“I genuinely believe he wants to beat Pele’s numbers, that’s where I think he’s at in his mind.
“He wants to be the greatest of all time and that is his sole purpose, understanding along the way if he is the greatest of all time the teams he plays in will win trophies and be successful.”
Ronaldo is currently in Madeira during coronavirus lockdown, with his private jet reportedly grounded in Madrid.Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.