Naldo looking forward to the Champions League

FC Schalke 04 defender Naldo has no intention to hang up his boots and says he could play for “two or even three years in the Bundesliga”.

The 35-year-old Brazilian was excellent as Schalke ended up as runners-up to league champions FC Bayern München last season – playing every single minute of the 2017/18 campaign.

It was the experienced former SV Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg player’s 12th season in the German top-flight, and he is not thinking of retiring just yet.

Naldo was instrumental as The Royal Blues ended the season with the third-best defence, while also netting an impressive seven goals.

Speaking to Kicker, Naldo said: “My goal was to qualify for the Champions League, we did that, and I would be crazy if I missed it.

“I felt very well, but I’m at an age now where one has to pay close attention to his body both mentally, but especially physically.

“I believe I can play for two or even three years in the Bundesliga, if I continue to take good care of my body.”

Naldo admits that it was only his age that kept him from joining his compatriots at the World Cup in Russia this year.

He added: “When I consider how the second half of the Bundesliga, one of the strongest leagues in the world, went personally for me, I come to the conclusion that maybe my age was decisive in missing a call-up.

“I would have been very happy to be nominated, but also from afar, I kept my fingers crossed without resentment for my countrymen.”

Looking ahead to the news season, Naldo concluded: “The league is looking at us more and more. The pressure is high, but we can’t consider it a burden under any circumstances. We have a strong team spirit and we have strengthened ourselves very well, our squad has improved.”