Sarri marvels as Ronaldo shows no signs of slowing down
There's no stopping Cristiano Ronaldo at the moment and it seems there's no end in sight for the Juventus star and his playing days - even at nearly 35.
The Portugal international once again was earning plaudits for his performance after he helped the Old Lady secure a 3-1 victory over Roma in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals on Wednesday night.
Manager Maurizio Sarri can’t believe the condition of the veteran forward, who got his name on the scoresheet against the Giallorossi, alongside Rodrigo Bentancur and Leonardo Bonucc.
“Ronaldo is in extraordinary physical and mental condition,” the head coach Sarri said afterwards. “He is continuing at an impressive pace and has extraordinary skills.
“He is very well physically. In terms of explosiveness, he is good. He takes great care of the details. Ronaldo is a champion, we want to help him win the sixth Ballon d’Or, it would make us all happy.”
Ronaldo will turn 35 on February 5, and, while many players would be showing signs of age and slowing down, the Juve talisman looks as fit as ever.
There has never been any questioning Ronaldo’s drive to be the best.
Ever since he made his name at Manchester United, before a successful spell at Real Madrid, the forward has been considered one of the very best to have played the game.
The classic rivalry between himself and Barcelona star Lionel Messi has been one of the best things that could have happened to Ronaldo.
The battle has driven both players to be even better and some might question if Ronaldo would still be at the level he is currently at, were it not for Messi’s own stunning longevity at the top.
And there is really seems no reason why Ronaldo can’t continue at the peak of his powers for at least a few more seasons to come.
The Portuguese star has picked a perfect league for him to stay relevant in Europe, while also prolonging his career.
Players can burn out with the rigours of the Premier League in England but the slower pace of Serie A should see Ronaldo maintain his superstar status and turn in regular outstanding individual performances.
Already becoming an icon with Juve, a long-awaited Champions League crown for the Old Lady would be the pinnacle for the veteran in Turin.
That might be hard to top and the motivation to continue might fade if Juventus were to become champions of Europe.
However, physically, Ronaldo seems to be the Duracell Bunny of modern football.