Real Madrid's Van Nistelrooy: Ballotta my hero

Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy admits he can't see himself playing at the top level at 43 years of age like Lazio goalkeeper Marco Ballotta.

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Van Nistelrooy will come face-to-face with Ballotta tonight and said: "The truth is that I have great respect for Ballotta. Surely I cannot last until 43 years of age like he has at the same level. For me, he is something very special to be able to play every week... I believe that the Italian keeper is an example for us all. To continue playing at 43 years ...

"I hope that I can play for a long time also. I am enjoying this level of play a lot, to be playing for a club like Real Madrid... everything. I am 31 years old and I am going to try to play the best that I can.

"In order to obtain this, I do not have any secret other than to continue as I have until now, working hard."

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