Cristiano Ronaldo is still gathering the fruits of his incredible 2016-17 season. The Real Madrid striker has been awarded Best Player of the Year by Chinese football app Dongqiudi, with the presentation taking place in Valdebebas just one day after Leganés knocked his side out of the Copa del Rey. Ronaldo spoke after the presentation.
How’s your eye after the cut you suffered against Depor?
It’s part of the game. Sometimes you hurt your leg, sometimes your back, this time it was my eye. At the time I was thinking about scoring and I didn’t think I’d get a boot in the face, but it’s all part of the game. During matches I tend to get knocks because they are trying to stop me, but this time I didn’t get lucky. I feel better now. I’m still happy, I’m still good-looking, and my vision is as good as before, so there’s no problem.
In 2017 you won the Liga, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, the Ballon d’Or…
It was an incredible year. We won everything. The Champions League, LaLiga, so on. I won a lot of trophies, so it was an incredible year and probably the best year of my career. I’m really happy, the experience this year was fantastic. I won a lot of individual awards and with the team. It was a great year.
A year ago you won this award too. You’re 32 now, but you haven’t stopped improving.
I have to prepare myself to stay at elite level. For me, age isn’t so important if your look after your body and mind, do the right things and work in the right way, with care. Age isn’t important. These last two years have been the most successful of my career. 2017 was a great year and shows that age really isn’t the most important thing. I’m happy and can carry on for a long time yet. I’m keen to work, to enjoy working with people, winning trophies. I’m good, I’m ready for a few more years.
You’re level on five Balones d’Or with Messi. If you win again this year…
You never know what the future holds. To be honest, I never thought I’d win one Ballon d’Or or two, and certainly not five. So, if I can’t win the Ballon d’Or in the future, I’ll still feel so, so, so, proud of myself. Of course, my ambition is to win more individual awards and trophies with the team, but I won’t be obsessed with the Ballon d’Or. It’s good to have shared the award with Messi over the past few years. It’s good to share this award with a great player. I feel good, I’m very satisfied with my career, but I’ll keep working hard.
This season isn’t going so well. What’s the difference between this year and last?
Last season was incredible, but it was also the best. This year we didn’t start so well, we’re not going well in LaLiga, the team was knocked out of the Copa del Rey. We’re not happy, Real Madrid the club isn’t happy, we’re not happy with it. But you also know football changes so much, so we need to keep motivated and work hard because we’ve still got the chance to win the Champions League and the World Cup starts after that. Our goal is to win the Champions League, because it’s the biggest prize. However, we are somewhat disappointed, we’ve haven’t been at the required level. I hope the situation improves and the only way of changing it is to work harder.
You’re a long way back from Barcelona in LaLiga
This year will be tough, but we won’t give up. Real Madrid never gives up, but it’ll be so, so, so tough. As I said before, the start wasn’t good and we lost a lot of points. The only way to cut the gap is hard work. It’s the only solution.
How is life in Madrid? Do you like living here?
Of course, I like living here. I’ve been in this city since 2009 and I love the climate and the people. It’s close to Portugal and you can get there by car. Spain is a great country, I love it. Of course, I want to stay here, I love this club.