Cristiano Ronaldo admits he never thought he was good enough to be a professional footballer
In a recent interview, Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted that he never expected to ever become a professional footballer, according to The Mirror. The Portuguese forward is now a three-time Ballon D’Or winner apart from topping the goalscoring charts almost every year for the past five years.
Although he started his career as an 8-year-old in youth football in Portugal, never did the now 30-year-old believe he would be destined to become one of the greatest players to ever grace the game.
Father inspired Ronaldo to take up football
Ronaldo recounts how he got into football in the first place. It all started when his father took him to the club where he worked.
"Everyone in my family loves football," Ronaldo said in the interview that was conducted by Herbalife.
"I remember one day playing in the street. My father said to me, 'why don't you come into the club when I work?'
“I say yes, why not. And I started to play. I go to training every day and I liked being part of a team. I trained every day and my father was there to help me."
Ronaldo knew he was different from other kids
Although he trained with the kids regularly, Ronaldo felt he wasn’t like the rest of the lot. He never thought he would become a professional.
"In the beginning, I felt that I was different to the other kids,” Ronaldo explained.
"I did not think that one day I would be a professional, playing for Manchester United or Real Madrid or Sporting. I would just play to enjoy, but I was never thinking I have talent and I'm going to be a professional. In the beginning, I did not feel that.
But all that changed when he realized he had it in him to give professional football a go. As he grew older, that belief was affirmed even more.
"But after three or four years, I started thinking 'I want to play there' and I started watching the games and then I started to dream about it."
Ronaldo worked hard to develop his game and fitness
To be the best, hard work is what paid off for the Portuguese international. And when he was deemed too thin to play the game when he was a kid, he did what was necessary to ensure he could compete with the best.
"You have to work so hard, I do this every day,” Ronaldo had said in July. “This is why I have been at the top level for many, many years.
"It's not by coincidence. I do so much extra work outside of the pitch. When I was 12 years old most of the people told me 'Cristiano you are a very talented player but you are too skinny'.
"So I put it in my mind that my body can improve. With dedication and hard work in the gym I improved a lot on that - at the end of the day it's down to the person's mindset."