The legendary Portuguese believes a fellow countryman can remain at the highest level in Italy for many years as age is not an issue there
Cristiano Ronaldo may be 35 years of age, but Luis Figo says the Juventus superstar can “keep scoring goals” at the highest level for many seasons to come if “injuries are kind to him”.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been fortunate on the fitness front throughout his remarkable career to date.
By keeping himself in the best possible shape, an all-time great has been able to avoid lengthy spells on the treatment table.
That has allowed him to maintain record-setting standards that show no sign of slowing down as he enters what should be the twilight of his playing days.
Many have suggested that Ronaldo could play on past his 40th birthday, with there no reason for him to hang up his boots any time soon, and Figo believes a fellow countryman can continue to thrive in Serie A.
The legendary former Portugal international told Marca of Ronaldo, who left Real Madrid for Italy during the summer of 2018: “I’m not surprised by his form because Cristiano has always been a great professional.
“If injuries are kind to him, he’ll keep scoring goals because it’s a gift he has and, if the physical side allows him – age has an influence in terms of recovery and speed, sure – but if that and his hunger to be decisive and score goals continues, he’ll [score] many more.
“I think that, in Italy – and I say this from experience – they have a way of thinking in relation to footballers’ ages that’s not like Spain. Here, you get to 30 or 31 and, after one bad game, they say you’re finished. In Italy, they judge you solely on the form that you’re in, not by your birth date.”
Ronaldo remains a talismanic figure for club and country and present, but Portugal have a number of young pretenders ready to take his crown.
Joao Felix falls into that category, with Figo expecting the 21-year-old Atletico Madrid forward to take his game to even greater heights once full potential is unlocked.
He added on the exciting youngster: “Joao is a young player that has a lot to learn. He’s going to be much better than he is already because of the time he still has to improve.
“He’s a player that has to play in his natural position to be able to perform at his best. He can play on the wing, but it’s difficult. In terms of performance, you’re going to notice him more if he plays in the middle.
“He’s a goalscorer, he picks up good positions and that’s a unique gift in football.”