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Cristiano Ronaldo: Wayne Rooney says his former Man Utd team-mate is capable of playing on until he is 40

Former Manchester United captain and team-mate of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, says the Portugal forward is capable of playing on until he is 40-years-old; Rooney: "I think his game has adapted dramatically"

AP: Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney
Image: Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney had a terrific partnership at Manchester United

Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo is capable of playing until he is 40 as he has adapted his playing style to extend his career, former captain Wayne Rooney said.

Ronaldo, 36, spent six seasons at Old Trafford between 2003 and 2009, winning eight major trophies, and rejoined United from Juventus last month on a two-year contract.

"The last time he played here, he was more of a runner, a great dribbler, with pace and power," said Rooney, now managing Derby County in the Championship.

"Whereas now, he's a goalscorer. I think his game has adapted dramatically."

Cristiano Ronaldo
Image: Ronaldo could make his second Manchester United debut this weekend

Rooney, United's all-time top scorer, added that his former team-mate is a "completely different player" to the one that left the club 12 years ago but can still keep up with the physical demands of the Premier League.

"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.

Oldest outfield players to make a PL appearance

Player Team Age
Teddy Sheringham West Ham 40 years, 272 days
Ryan Giggs Man Utd 40 years, 158 days
Kevin Phillips Crystal Palace 40 years, 88 days
Gordon Strachan Coventry City 40 years, 83 days
Bryan Robson Middlesbrough 39 years, 356 days

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Manchester United chief operating officer Collette Roche says Ronaldo's return to Old Trafford will be a special moment

"His team-mates 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."

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Ronaldo, who scored 118 goals for United during his first spell, is expected to feature when they take on Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday.

The oldest PL player?

Goalkeeper John Burridge holds the record for being the oldest player to make a Premier League appearance at the age of 43 years and 162 days when he represented Man City in 1995.

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Take a look at Ronaldo's best showboats from his time in the Premier League

How to follow Ronaldo's second Man Utd debut

Manchester United host Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday September 11 (3pm kick-off).

You can follow the game with our live blog on the Sky Sports website and app - and get details of Solskjaer's starting line-up as soon as the teams are announced at 2pm.

You won't need to wait long to see the match highlights - we'll bring them to you for free from 5.15pm on the Sky Sports website and app, as well as on our Sky Sports Football YouTube channel.

And we'll serve up the best stats, analysis and reaction after the game.

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