REAL MADRID

Cristiano: "Zidane's arrival was key, he improved the team"

In an interview with World Soccer, Ronaldo pays tribute to Zidane as he gets ready to compete the UEFA Best Player in Europe prize against Gareth Bale on Thursday
Portugal vs Switzerland

Cristiano: "Zidane's arrival was key, he improved the team"
AFP

As Cristiano Ronaldo continues his recovery from the knee injury he suffered in the Euro 2016 final last month, this Thursday the Portuguese star could win his first individual trophy of the season.

The Real Madrid striker will be in Monaco to attend the Champions League group stage draw and to find out if he’ll be crowned UEFA’s Best Player in Europe. Standing in the way of Ronaldo and the award (he’s won it once before in 2014) will be his Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale and Atlético Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann.

"It's a beautiful moment in my career"

“I see it as a privilege,” the Los Blancos ‘7’ told World Soccer. “Since the prize has been around I’ve almost always been in the mix. I think there have been four editions of the prize and I’ve been nominated for three, if I remember correctly, so it’s an honour. It’s a sign of a great season on an individual level and on a collective level too, with Real Madrid having won the Champions League, and obviously it’s a beautiful moment in my career and I’m happy.”

In the interview, Ronaldo also reiterated who and what he thought made Real Madrid's Undécima win possible. "I think that with [Zinedine] Zidane’s arrival, many aspects of the team improved. We didn’t make a good start [to the season], or rather we didn’t start the way we wanted to, but we ended it well – that was the key to the season.”