Gary Neville said Cristiano Ronaldo, his former Manchester United teammate, would not retire until he surpassed Pele as the greatest goal scorer in football history.
Pele is also considered the highest scorer of all time, having scored 1,282 times in 1,363 games, but there are some goals scored in friendly matches and unofficial friendships in this figure. Of 725 club and country career goals, Ronaldo, now 35, is still a long way behind Pele, but Neville says he would be able to play until he is statistically the best.
“His motivation was to become the best in the world out of this era. He’s one of the very few players I’ve played with who will declare publicly that the individual trophies are important to him,” Neville told Sky Sports News.
“He always wants to be the very best in the world and it’s so vital to him. It’s an obsession. Absolute obsession with scoring goals. Applying himself every day, being the fittest he can be. I think he has improved his maturity every year and progressed.”Jamie spoke earlier about James Milner wanting to play in his late 30s and 40s.
“I think he has a plan for Ronaldo to move on and take over Pele’s record. I honestly believe he wants to go on to surpass Pele’s numbers. That’s where I think he’s in his mind, he wants to be the biggest of all times, that’s his main intent, knowing that on the way if he’s the biggest of all times, the teams he’s playing for can win trophies and be effective.”
Ronaldo is also on the verge of becoming the top international goal scorer ever, with only Ali Daei of Iran scoring more than the 99 talismans from Portugal.