"I think only Messi and I have maintained a high consistency level," says Cristiano Ronaldo
In an interview with FIFA.com, Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo spoke his mind and said that he considers himself and his La Liga rival, Lionel Messi a class above the field. He quoted that only the duo could have maintained their invincibility for such a long time.
The 29-year-old forward picked up the third Ballon d’Or trophy of his career on Monday, defeating Barcelona’s golden goose Lionel Messi and the best goalkeeper of the year 2014, Manuel Neuer.
Better than the rest
“I don’t think anyone else has done it eight years in a row, which is why it’s immensely satisfying,” Ronaldo told FIFA.com as quoted by Goal. “Year after year I keep working hard with my club and national team so that I continue to stand out.”
“This recognition is an indication that things are going well and that I’m enjoying an exceptional career," he added, referring to the image they have maintained of being the best footballers in the world.
The Portuguese continued, “It all happened so fast. In my opinion, the hardest thing is maintaining that level. I’m proud to have been in the World XI for eight consecutive years and always vying to be among the best three as it’s something very few people manage to do. I think just Messi and I have done it, not many more anyway.”
Ronaldo admits to the fact that he will be considered as a legend when he pulls the curtain on playing football, yet he remains uncertain if his mind and body have the capacity to deliver 100% for another decade on the field.
Not sure about my future: Ronaldo
“In truth, I don’t think about my legacy," he added. "I know I’ll have a place in the history of the game because of what I’m doing and winning, whether at an individual or team level."
“I know I’ll have a nice page devoted to me between some of the all-time greats, and that makes me happy. I’m 29 now, but I feel great, like I’m still 25! I think I can play on for another five, six or seven years at a high level. Beyond that, we’ll have to see,” he further stated.
"It's conceivable I play until I'm 40 years old but, as I said before, it’s a case of seeing how I feel year after year, how motivated I am and if I’m still useful to my team like in the past.”
"As for going on until 40... If I want to play until then, I will, though I might be dragging myself around by then! But while I’m playing to an acceptable standard - acceptable to me, that is, and at a level my fans and club deserve - then I want to continue. Honestly, though, it’s not something I’m thinking about yet."
In Ronaldo’s career timeline of 2014-2015, he has also bagged the Globe Soccer Best Player of the Year and Fan’s Favourite Player award.