Ronaldo spoke on stage with host David Ginola after winning a fifth Ballon d’Or to draw level with Lionel Messi on the personal silverware stakes.
After receiving his fifth Ballon d’Or last night, at a ceremony at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Cristiano Ronaldo was interviewed by former player David Ginola, who presided over the gala organised by France Football:
“It’s an honour to receive this award in such a wonderful setting. I’ve really enjoyed the ceremony and I’m absolutely thrilled. It’s a real honour. When I was a kid, I never expected to win a single Ballon d’Or, so just imagine having five… Ever since I won the first, I’ve worked hard and fought to better myself. Winning titles with my club and national team has helped, of course”.
“Ever since I was 14, 15 or 16, I knew I was different to other kids. I did things differently. I realised I was a good player at Manchester United, when I played alongside players like Giggs, Keane and Ferdinand. I was talented. The English mentality is different and the people there really helped me to become what I am today. I have to thank all my teammates in Manchester”.
“My motivation is still intact, I set my own goals. I strive to better myself and I always want to win. You have to fight for that, my motivation is still very much intact. When I wake up, I’m still motivated to get to training and that’s the best thing in the world. Things can alter very quickly, to be honest, and the motivation may change. I’m not prepared for that yet though, and I don’t want it to happen, but the day will come. I’m not thinking about it because I’m enjoying this fantastic moment, I feel great, motivated, and physically strong”.
He went further, discussing his working ethics;
“Your body and mind help to be in the optimum condition. You can’t play for two hours a day and then do whatever you want. You have to be disciplined and professional, dedicated to your work. I try to look after my body, eat well, sleep, because I’m very focussed on good recovery practices. Those details make the difference. I work intelligently and with great care in order to remain at the top. Talent is important, but you have to train and work hard. If you’re not disciplined, forget it”.
“My family is important to me because it gives me stability. I’ve got an incredible family, wonderful children, good friends and a great girlfriend. I can’t forget my teammates, my team. I’m a proud guy, who is very fortunate to have so many good people around him. I’m surrounded by loyal people”.
“There’s always something to be learned from the coaches. It’s been a pleasure for me to work with all of them. It’s been an incredible experience and I’d like to thank them for their messages during the gala. Thank you to all the former players who are here, to my family and friends, the president, everyone. It motivates me to continue my career and work hard to keep being the best. As a player, you need a leader, and that’s the coach. You have to show respect. The coaches have always been an example for me and the reason we’ve won things”.
Happy with the prize:
“I’m really happy, it’s a fantastic moment in my career. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. We have a brilliant last season, winning the Champions League and LaLiga. And on a personal level, I was the top scorer in the Champions League. Those trophies have helped me win this individual one, so I want to thank all of my team-mates at Madrid and in the Portugal team. They’ve been really important for me, and the other people who have helped me get here.”
Next Ballon d’Or:
“The next Ronaldo or Messi doesn’t exist. Every player has his own style. There are a lot of players with the potential to win it. That’s not enough though, you have to be professional, there are many examples of that. You have to win big things at the right time and have a bit of luck. Talent and potential don’t win you anything”.
“I like how he takes free-kicks. I think he has something special. I don’t put pressure on him, he’s still very young.”
“Go to PSG? No. I’m happy at Real Madrid and I want to stay with the club and finish my career here if I can. I’m still motivated every day. I hope I can play at the highest level for a few more years, and that my rivalry with Messi continues. He’ll continue to do the best he can for his team, and we’ll see who comes out on top. I started the season well this year, I feel great and we’ll see what we can win at the end of the year. Neymar is in third place this time because he’s got real talent and potential and I’m sure he’ll get the chance to win the award in the future”.