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Cristiano Ronaldo: I’m the best player in the world

Cristiano Ronaldo says he is the best footballer
in the world and comparable with the game’s
all-time greats.
In an interview with the BBC sports editor Dan
Roan, the Real Madrid forward said he had
reached a level from where it is “not easy to
improve”.
The Portuguese, 30, is a three-time world
footballer of the year, and Real’s all-time leading
goalscorer.
He said: “I don’t need to say ‘I’m in the history of
football, I’m a legend’. The numbers say
everything.”
Ronaldo, who joined Real from Manchester
United in 2009 for £80m, said he had reached an
“unbelievable” level on the pitch over the “last
eight years” and wants to continue playing for
another five or six seasons.
His career record stands at 504 goals in 760
appearances.
“To improve more it’s very tough. I just want to
maintain because this is I think the most difficult
part for a football player,” said Ronaldo, who is
also the Champions League’s top scorer with 82
goals.
“In my mind, I’m always the best. I don’t care
what people think, what they say. In my mind, not
just this year but always, I’m always the best,” he
added.
Ronaldo was asked about comparisons with
Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi, a
four-time world player of the year with 418 goals
in 492 club appearances.
He said: “It’s opinions, I respect the opinions.
Maybe in your opinion Messi is better than me,
but in my mind I am better than him. So it’s
simple.”
Ronaldo joined Manchester United from
Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon for £12.2m in
2003, scoring 118 goals for the club in 292
appearances.
Since moving to Madrid, where he is under
contract until 2018, he has scored 326 goals in 314
matches.
In the BBC Sport interview, Ronaldo also spoke
about motivation, Manchester United and former
manager Jose Mourinho.
United have not challenged for the Premier
League title since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in
2013, and boss Louis van Gaal has been
criticised this season for their style of play.
Mourinho, now Chelsea manager, has come
under pressure this season with the Blues 15th in
the Premier League having lost six of their
opening 11 league games
Dan Roan: “Is it sad for you to see Manchester
United not quite at the level they were
before?”
Cristiano Ronaldo: “For me it’s hard to see that
because it’s a club that I love. Of course I want to
see Manchester United at the level that it was in
the past. Like, for example, Sporting Lisbon was
my first professional club. I like to see the clubs
that I like at the top and I think Manchester this
season is better, but I think they still have work to
do to be at the level of six, seven years ago.”
DR: “What possibility is there of you going back
to Manchester United one day?”
CR: “As I say many, many times, the future
nobody knows. At this moment I’m so glad and
happy here in Real Madrid but the future nobody
knows. I will say this answer all the time because
the future nobody knows, but I’m good here. I
still have a contract with Real Madrid and I’m
happy here.”
DR: “You’ve made a film [Ronaldo, released on
Monday] telling your life story. What’s it like
being a footballing superstar?”
CR: “It’s great. This has given me motivation to still
work hard and better in my job but I have to say
to be in my shoes is not easy. But I’m not
complaining. I just want to say that. I feel happy.
All this happens because of a reason. The reason
is I’m unbelievable inside the pitch. This is why
the people have so much interest on me. So it’s as
simple as that. I’m good, I’m happy, I’m
motivated all the time. I’m very professional and I
want to carry on like that.”
DR: “You played under Jose Mourinho for
three seasons here at Real Madrid. He’s going
through a tough spell now. Are you surprised
by that?”
CR: “I’m not surprised because in football
anything can happen. Of course, he’s a manager
that I was working with for two years and I know
his potential. I know that not just him but Chelsea
are in this tough situation. As a Portuguese man, I
want to see the Portuguese at the top level all the
time. So this is what I wish for him that he can go
through this bad situation and make Chelsea fans
happy because they deserve it.”
The full interview is on Football Focus on
Saturday, 7 November at 12:10 GMT.
‘Ronaldo’ is released in cinemas worldwide for
one night on 9 November.

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