Manchester United

Wayne Rooney says Cristiano Ronaldo can play until he's 40

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
The pair enjoyed a terrific relationship during their time together at Man Utd
The pair enjoyed a terrific relationship during their time together at Man Utd / Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Wayne Rooney believes his former Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo is capable of playing for another four seasons.

Ronaldo recently secured a deadline day return to Old Trafford after over a decade away from the club where he made his name. During his first spell with United between 2003 and 2009, he formed a strong relationship with Rooney with the pair leading their side to a host of silverware.

Asked about how he thought his former colleague would fare back in the Premier League, the now Derby County manager told Sky Sports: "His ability is obviously one thing, but then he's also looked after himself massively...he's still in great condition. It wouldn't surprise me if he's playing until he's 40, like Ryan Giggs did, and still scoring goals.

"His teammates will have to work a little harder. But if it's anything like last time - towards the last two years of playing with him - the team allowed him to do that because he scores you goals, and goals win you games."

During his first spell in England Ronaldo was a flying winger, but he has since developed into one of the greatest poachers of all time. Despite the shift, Rooney insisted that he would be no less useful to United this season.

"The last time he played here, he was more of a runner, a great dribbler, with pace and power. Whereas now, he's a goalscorer. I think his game has adapted dramatically."

Ronaldo should make his first appearance since returning to United on Saturday when Newcastle travel to Old Trafford.

It remains to be seen whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will start the forward, though. He has made fellow summer signings Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane wait before introducing them to the starting XI, although he could make an exception for Ronaldo.