by Hauwa Gambo
We thought only wrestlers said this kind of thing?
Well, see excerpts from CNN’s interview with the footballer Cristiano Ronaldo below:
It’s not a phrase that usually gets said out loud, but you have to feel sorry for Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Real Madrid player has just finished the season of his life, winning Spain’s La Liga whilst vanquishing their hated Catalan foes Barcelona.
He scored more goals than he ever has before too, 46 in the league to be precise, and 60 overall. Yet even though Madrid finished nine points clear of second place, it is Barca’s Lionel Messi that still gets all the attention.
“Some people say I’m better, other people say it’s him, but at the end of the day, they’re going to decide who is the best player,” Ronaldo told CNN in an exclusive interview before this weekend’s Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Chelsea at Munich’s Allianz Arena.
“At the moment … I think it is me,” he laughs.
“Sometimes (the comparisons with Messi) makes me tired …for him too because they compare us together all the time.
“You cannot compare a Ferrari with a Porsche because it’s a different engine. You cannot compare them. He does the best things for Barcelona, I do the best things for Madrid.
“I think we push each other sometimes in the competition, this is why the competition is so high. This is why Madrid and Barcelona are the best teams in the world because everyone pushes each other, not just me and Messi but other players.”
Perhaps Ronaldo is right. The world needs the “good cop/bad cop” routine of Messi and Ronaldo to bring the best out of both them. It might be the reason why neither has set the world alight on the international stage.
But whilst Messi is hailed as a secular saint, Ronaldo is derided for his self confidence, some would say over confidence. How does he cope with the vitriol he provokes in opposition fans?
“Sometimes, you have to put on a mask. You cannot smile every time for all the people. It’s impossible, I cannot do that,” he says.
“This is not my type of personality. And people really don’t know me. And I do it for that because I don’t want every person to know me, just close friends…you know, my friends, teammates. These people know me very well. Other people, to be honest, I really don’t care about that.”
IN BARCA’S SHADOW?
Barcelona. It is the shadow that follows not just Ronaldo, but also Jose Mourinho, who has also had a remarkable season in Spain. You could argue it is a shadow that follows the city of Madrid around too.
“The points speak for themselves,” Ronaldo replies when asked about the rivalry.
“Nine points separated Madrid and Barcelona; it’s a lot here in Spain. We played better than them this year, I’m sure about that. I remember we went there one month ago and we won 2-1…nobody can do that, it’s very difficult so we deserve to win the league. We are better than them at the moment, but we have to respect them because they are a great team too.”
Now there has never been a better time for Real Madrid to break the spell of Barcelona. With Pep Guardiola gone and questions being raised about the age of the Barca squad, Ronaldo believes that Madrid could go on to do something special, with the Special One at the helm.
Well, well. You’ve got to love a man who says exactly what he thinks.