CRISTIANO RONALDO wants to continue playing for Portugal beyond 2024 – by which time he will be 39.
The Manchester United forward turned 37 in February.
But his hat-trick against Tottenham, his 21st, 22nd and 23rd goals of the season, shows he is still able to produce the goods at the elite level.
On the international stage, the forward remains his country’s talisman, six years on from their Euro 2016 victory.
The Portugal captain helped his side past Turkey and North Macedonia in the qualifying play-off to book their place at the World Cup this winter.
Ronaldo has publicly stated his intention to keep playing into his 40s.
And team-mate Jose Fonte reckons there is still plenty left in the tank to see him represent Portugal at Euro 2024 in Germany.
The veteran Lille defender told talkSPORT: “I think he’s left it pretty clear in his last interview, he’s the one who decides his future.
“I think that physically he feels good, he feels great.
“If he had the chance to win it and the chance to keep performing at the highest stages then he’ll keep playing, as he said.
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“Nobody knows exactly what he has in his mind, so only he can decide his future.
“He wants to play and keep playing so I would assume that he will be in Qatar, and not only in Qatar but in the next Euros at least.”
Ronaldo has a record 115 goals in 186 Portugal caps since making his debut way back in 2003.
But with a rising crop of talented youngsters, including Joao Felix, Rafael Leao and Nuno Mendes, Fonte believes the future is bright for his national team, even after Ronaldo does hang up his boots.
The ex-Southampton man, 38, added: “I must say, I haven’t seen a squad like this next one coming up with so much talent and so much quality all over the pitch.
“I really believe that the future is bright. I fully believe that if we get it right then we are in major contention to be winning tournaments because we have so much quality and so much talent in Felix, Jota, Bruno Fernandes.
“We have centre-backs like Tiago Djalo, Ruben Dias and then you have Joao Cancelo, Diogo Dalot and Nuno Mendes.
“The love of football in this country is incredible. The focus on this sport is very, very high.
“Obviously that’s because of the past footballers that we’ve had and the influence that we’ve had so everybody looks to football as the main sport, even though we are very successful in other sports, football is the main sport in Portugal.”