Cristiano Ronaldo may now be considering hanging up his boots after two more seasons at Man United.
That is the view of medical expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in injury and data analysis.
Ronaldo, 37, has been involved in a public bid to leave the Red Devils this summer, just a year after he re-signed from Juventus.
The situation has meant that the 45 minutes the legendary Portuguese forward played against Rayo Vallecano last Sunday (31 July) was his first run-out of pre-season.
As quoted by BBC Sport on Wednesday (3 August), new United boss Erik ten Hag said it was “unacceptable” that Ronaldo had left Old Trafford early after he was brought off at half-time.
Dinnery explained that pre-season forms the building blocks for the rest of the campaign and missing it almost entirely is poor preparation for a player in his twilight years.
But he claimed that Ronaldo’s physical powers “defy logic” and that he may still have two seasons in the tank.
“Maybe I am clouded by the mythology surrounding Ronaldo,” he told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.
“In the cold light of day, you would think any other player missing that much of pre-season would impact his early game weeks.
“But Ronaldo seems to transcend everything. He defies logic in a lot of ways. We are constantly questioning when we will see his demise but he keeps on delivering and ripping up the rule book.
“This could be one last big hurrah. He was hankering for a move away, but does he now see his career finishing at Man United?
“Maybe he sees that he has two big seasons, one to get United back into the Champions League and one to perform again on the biggest stage.
“His thinking now might be about going out with a bang. If that’s the case, I expect him to fully focus and carry on doing what he has done in his entire career.”