Cristiano Ronaldo’s sister has taken to social media to send hints that her brother and Portuguese superstar could play at the next FIFA World Cup, scheduled to take place in 2026.
Ronaldo and Portugal were knocked out on Saturday at the quarter-final stage by Morocco, who became the first-ever African nation to reach the semi-finals of a FIFA World Cup.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner found himself on the bench for the tie against the Atlas Lions but was called upon early in the second-half after Portugal went into the break having just conceded.
Ronaldo was largely ineffective during his time on the pitch, but this was mainly due to a lack of service mixed with being well marshalled by the Moroccan centre-backs.
The Real Madrid legend, who recently had his contract with Man United mutually terminated, was evidently upset after the full-time whistle confirmed their place on the next available flight home and ruined Ronaldo’s dream of leading his country to World Cup glory.
However, Ronaldo’s sister Katia Aveiro took to Instagram to hint that her brother could still play in the 2026 FIFA World Cup, set to be hosted by the USA, Canada and Mexico.
The post read (after translation): “41 is the prime of life.”
Ronaldo will be 41 by the time of the next tournament, and it seems as if he’s already discussed with his family his intention to be part of the Portugal squad.
It is not uncommon for players to be performing at a high level late into their thirties or even early forties. Ronaldo’s long-time teammate Pepe started most of their World Cup games this campaign at the ripe-old age of 39. Furthermore, we’re still seeing Thiago Silva pull off class acts week-in week-out in the Premier League.
However, the difference is positional. Unfortunately for Ronaldo, the forward positions are more physically demanding than centre-back. Bearing this in mind, and not taking anything away from the extraordinary athlete Ronaldo is, we doubt he’ll be a member of the next Portuguese World Cup squad.
A heartbreaking end, but even without a World Cup title, Ronaldo will undoubtedly go down as one of the all-time greats.