We may have thought the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi rivalry is coming to an end with the duo approaching their forties soon, but the older of the two Ronaldo is ready to extend his Al-Nassr contract and prolong his professional football career beyond the age of 40. According to reports, the 38-year-old Portugal national team captain has showed his desire to continue to compete at the highest level of club and country football, hence coming to a decision to further his illustrious football resume to at least after the 2026 FIFA World Cup in Canada, Mexico and the United States of America, where he will be 41.
Ronaldo to Extend Al-Nassr Contract Beyond the 2026 FIFA World Cup
After the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar that saw Ronaldo’s Portugal bow out from the tournament with a shocking quarterfinal defeat to Morocco, it was assumed that the 38-year-old’s future with the national team and his club is going to end soon, but a rejuvenated Ronaldo in this 2023/2024 Season meant the super human in the football world is not retiring in the near future. With 17 goals in 17 matches in all competitions thus far, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has reportedly told his club on his intention to extend his current Al-Nassr contract beyond 2027.
According to Cadena Cope, CR7 has set his retirement year at 2027, where he will turn 42 in February that year, and since the player had indicated that he wants to finish his career at the Saudi region, an Al-Nassr contract extension is bound to happen in the near future. It is worth mentioning that Ronaldo’s current Al-Nassr contract will keep him at the club until 2025 and the potential extension is set to elevate the Saudi Pro League’s status to new heights at least three to four years to come.
Eden Hazard was the successor of Cristiano Ronaldo’s famous no. 7 jersey at Real Madrid, but injury-plagued seasons saw the Belgium attacker never fully utilised his potential at Los Blancos. Hazard, who left his national team after last year’s FIFA World Cup and terminated his Real Madrid contract last June, has decided to hang up his boots for good earlier this week. We have the story covered in this article, check it out now!
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Ronaldo vs. Messi: A Rivalry Like No Other
Should Ronaldo does extend his Al-Nassr contract and only retire in 2027, one can only imagine that he wants to play in the next major tournaments for the Portugal national team, namely the UEFA Euro 2024 in Germany and the 48-team 2026 FIFA World Cup in three North American countries. In other words, we could see the epic Ronaldo-Messi rivalry, considered one the best across all sports in the world and is often compared to other major sports rivalries such as the Muhammad Ali–Joe Frazier rivalry in boxing, the Prost–Senna rivalry in motorsport, and the tennis rivalry between Federer–Nadal, to be prolonged before our eyes once again.
While Ronaldo is extending his Al-Nassr contract soon, his arch-nemesis Messi had already hinted about a possible chance to play in the 2026 FIFA World Cup. La Pulga, who also left Europe to join a club in another continent earlier this year, mentioned that he will monitor his conditions with Argentina in the 2024 Copa América as well as his Inter Miami CF performances in the following seasons, before coming out with a decision on whether he is joining the 2026 FIFA World Cup; The Argentine and Inter Miami captain will turn 39 in June 2026, when the first 48-team World Cup kickstarts.
Messi had also recently ruled out a chance to return to his boyhood club Barcelona or join Cristiano Ronaldo at the Saudi Pro League on loan during the Major League Soccer offseason. The player is currently occupied with international duties at Argentina and it is likely that he will not play another competitive game for Inter Miami CF until late February next year. Here is why.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have just come together to take the best picture of 2022. pic.twitter.com/w5RoCsFYhI
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) November 19, 2022
Could Cristiano Ronaldo Jr. Join His Father in the 2026 FIFA World Cup?
Cristiano Ronaldo’s amazing statistics this season and his desire to prolong his Al-Nassr contract only went on to further prove his capabilities despite being 38 years of age. As he is set to pen an Al-Nassr contract extension soon, many also wonder if his son Cristiano Ronaldo Jr. has any legitimate chances of joining his father at the national side in major competitions.
Cristiano Ronaldo Jr., 13 this year, has been able to display glimpses of his dad’s abilities in many youth teams that he has joined, and at 16 years of age by the time when the first 2026 FIFA World Cup whistle is blown, no one can concede this chance of seeing the father-son duo representing Portugal in the quadrennial tournament. We can imagine this as the perfect ending for Cristiano Ronaldo’s glittering professional career, which might also happen in the case of LeBron James and his son Bronny James in the world of basketball.