04.01.2014 » Cristiano Ronaldo grants his first interview of 2014
Just a few days after we've entered in 2014, Cristiano Ronaldo has decided to grant a big interview to "Record", a popular Portuguese sports newspaper. The 28-year old forward approached several topics including the affection he still has for his former club Sporting CP, his own analysis of 2013, the expectations he has for the upcoming FIFA Ballon d'Or but also the high hopes that the entire Portuguese Nation hold for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, to be held in Brazil next summer.
Cristiano Ronaldo - The most complete football player:
Journalist: Looking at your career so far, it's easy to note that you've won almost every title you could in the clubs where you've been at: Manchester United and Real Madrid. However, you never won any trophy in Sporting CP. Do you still plan to go back to your first professional club and win something in Portugal?
Ronaldo: "That's true, I still haven't won the Portuguese title for Sporting. I don't know if I'll have the chance to make that happen or not, because no one knows what's going to happen in the future... But if I do have the chance to do it, it would surely be a great honor!"
Journalist: Since we're still talking strictly about Portuguese football, what players have impressed you the most during the past year?
Ronaldo: "I prefer not to mention anyone in particular, because I don't think it's fair doing that. Portugal has always had great talents and the proof is that every year we have players signing for the best clubs and the most competitive leagues in Europe. This year wasn't any different..."
Journalist: But do you see anyone good enough and with potential to reach a club like Real Madrid in the near future?
Ronaldo: "I must repeat my previous words, because I simply don't like to mention names. However, all great players can have their own place at the top clubs and it's true that we have that kind of players in Portugal."
Journalist: With all the success you've been getting and also the way you led the Portuguese National Team to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, do you feel that this may somehow help lifting the Portuguese people out of the sad state they are in with so many economic and financial difficulties?
Ronaldo: "I think that the whole Portuguese team helped in doing that. The Portuguese people is living some rough times and to have the chance of sending them a message of hope and to never stop fighting for a better life is definitely rewarding. It's important that we never give up from our dreams, no matter how many difficulties we find in the way."
Journalist: You've already said it for numerous times that you're always seeking to improve your own marks and records and that it won't be any different in 2014. Having that in mind, wouldn't it be something special to win the UEFA Champions League in 2014, a year where the final is being hosted in Lisbon?
Ronaldo: "It's true that if Real Madrid ends up winning the 10th UEFA Champions League in my own country [Portugal], that would be a perfect scenario. However, the most important is to win that trophy, regardless of the location where we get to play the final..."
Journalist: If you were asked to choose your best moment of 2013, which one would you pick?
Ronaldo: "That's an easy one! Portugal's qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil is beyond any doubts my highlight of the year. I don't even need to think twice about that"
Journalist: Having in mind that you're currently 28 and that you'll be 33 by the time the next World Cup takes place in the summer of 2018, can this year's FIFA World Cup have a special meaning to you?
Ronaldo: "All competitions are important. The World Cup in Brazil will be the most important quite simply because it's the next one coming, but also due to the fact that is being hosted in our "brother country", with who Portugal shares a great history."
Journalist: How far can Portugal go in this 2014 FIFA World Cup?
Ronaldo: "We'll do the best we can, and we must simply think step by step. We obviously have great ambitions, but we must stand with our feet on the ground the whole time..."
Journalist: Looking back at what happened last year, it's easy to notice that the road to Brazil wasn't an easy one. Did you ever feel that Portugal could fail to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup?
Ronaldo: "No. We never doubted that we would make it to Brazil, no matter how difficult our path could become. It all depended on us and in the right moments, we knew how to rise to the occasion."
Journalist: One of those moments was certainly the playoff against Sweden. Would you rate that 2nd leg game where you scored an hat-trick as one of your career's golden moments?
Ronaldo: "Yes, we can say that indeed because it was on that game that we managed to finally seal the deal. I'm really happy to have contributed with 3 goals in such an important game as that one. However, what made me happier was the fact that Portugal assured their qualification to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Journalist: Over the last months, I'm sure a lot of people have asked you this question, and the truth is that we can't really avoid it either... Do you think you'll win the next FIFA Ballon d'Or?
Ronaldo: "I don't want to talk about that topic anymore. What happens it that many times people just prefer to distort the true meaning of my statements and a simple joke can start a big series of news that actually don't make any sense, just like it happened a few days ago. What I can tell you is that I've always been in the podium, which I believe to somehow show that I've been doing a good job. For me, that regularity is the most important. I'm more than aware that I've been able to meet the expectations people have set for me. As for the award itself, it really doesn't depend on me anymore..."
Journalist: Does that mean that if you don't win the FIFA Ballon d'Or this year, you will feel that this is a trophy for which what you achieve on the pitch isn't enough anymore?
Ronaldo: "Like I said, the decision doesn't depend on me. Those who have met me know that I always like to win regardless of the game being played. For me, it doesn't matter if we're playing for fun or for real. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose and that's just part of the game..."
Journalist: To hear someone like Diego Maradona, an Argentinian legend, saying that this year you and not Messi deserve to win the FIFA Ballon d'Or, does it give you any particular pleasure?
Ronaldo: "It's always good to hear those sort of opinions from people and even more when we're talking about such an iconic figure as it is Maradona. It's also part of the public acknowledgment for the work I've been doing for both my club and my National Team and I obviously feel very honored for hearing those kind of words coming from Diego Maradona.
Journalist: You and Messi are regarded by many as football's main flagships in the whole World. You are also both nominated on the final shortlist to win the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2013 (together with Franck Ribery). However, the Barcelona star has been injured for the past few months... Would you like seeing him returning to competition soon?
Ronaldo: "Football needs great players like Messi and no one should want that players are left out of the game because of injuries, which is the worst that can happen to a football player.
Journalist: If Real Madrid ends up meeting Chelsea in any of the upcoming stages of the UEFA Champions League, will you greet José Mourinho?
Ronaldo: "I don't understand why that question is even being asked... I don't have any sort of problem with any coach I've had in the past and I would work again with all of them. They've all been very important in different stages of my career."
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Real Madrid will be against Celtica Vigo, in La Liga's first fixture of 2014 (January 6). You can watch Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo, Barcelona vs Elche, Manchester United vs Swansea and Derby County vs Chelsea, all matches provided from our soccer live section.
Real Madrid next game:
Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo kick-off time (06-01-2014):
Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+7: 01:00
Spain (Madrid) | GMT+1: 19:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+0: 18:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-2: 16:00
New York (United States) | GMT-5: 13:00
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-8: 10:00
Beijing (China) | GMT+8: 02:00