FIFA Ballon d’Or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo, revealed that he had no clue he was going to win the prestigious award and that’s why was overwhelmed by his emotions.
In a personal interview with Ballon d’Or organisers France Football, Ronaldo took responsibility for mistakes in his career, revealed that he is still taking English lessons and that the form of Lionel Messi continually pushes him to keep improving.
Here are the most important statements out of the interview.
Ronaldo on his emotional outburst on stage:
“I did not expect to win the award. It was a moment of great emotion — especially when I saw my son running towards me and into my arms, happy. That increased my emotion 10 times.
“And I started to cry. And then when I saw my family in tears, I cried even more.
“They were honest tears, genuine. I know that many people saw my tears as a positive image. They saw my most sensitive side.”
Ronaldo on the runners-up Franck Ribery and Messi:
“The competition certainly helps: not just with Messi, but also with top players like the ones I see in the Premier League and other leagues. Like Luis Suarez, Iniesta, Neymar, Gareth Bale, Diego Costa and Falcao.
“If the level of play rises, I too will raise mine. Messi and I are in direct competition with our respective teams.
“Both of us want what is best for our club and our national teams. So yes, maybe we help each other to excel.”
Ronaldo on his public perception as being arrogant:
“One day I said people were jealous because I was young, beautiful and rich. It was a mistake.
“I spoke after a match where I was angry because I had not scored.
“But I think my behaviour has evolved, even if my personality has not changed much. I always want to do things to get better.
“As I often say: I’m not perfect. I am a human being made of flesh and bone: I cry, I laugh, I have my problems.
"As for jealousy: life is such that people envy others. But I feel the public understands me better, realises I am someone who works hard.”
Ronaldo on players, who influenced him:
“I learned a lot from other guys like Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs at Manchester United, Raul and Michel Salgado at Real, and Figo, Rui Costa, Fernando Couto and Deco with the national team. To be a very good professional is worth 70% to be a successful footballer.”
Ronaldo on not knowing that he would win:
“If I had been certain to win, I would have made a much better prepared speech. My reaction reflects my surprise. I know that many people think that if I went to the ceremony, it is because I knew I had won.
“But I went every year I was on the podium. It makes me a little angry to say that I knew, because I assure you I knew nothing.”
Ronaldo on his personal life:
"It's not easy to lead a normal life, although I'm used to it.
"When I finish my career, I hope everything is quieter and you can enjoy a little more. Now it is not easy."
Ronaldo explained his typical day involves dropping his son at school, then training, then having a nap with his son, and often then taking an English lesson, as he put it: “In order to maintain the level that I had when I played there.”
He confirmed he sometimes hits the gym at four in the morning when he returns from an away game: “It’s the little details that make a big difference.”
By David Kappel