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Cristiano Ronaldo at Marca (II)

January 19, 2011

Cristiano Ronaldo is the cover boy of Marca for the second day straight, with the second part of his three-part interview published today.  In this part, he’s asked for his opinion on several teammates, as well as his own ambitions.  Once again, I love what he has to say.  You get the feeling that he’s a bit like Mou – in that the way he’s generally portrayed is completely different than how he is in real life.

Q:  You finished the primera vuelta with 23 goals.  If you keep scoring at this pace, you would win the pichichi with ¡46 goals!  That would be a new record.  Is the desire to surpass the record of 38 goals set by Hugo Sánchez and Zarra a motivation for you?

A:  I don’t play to break records; I don’t think about this.  What I do focus on is maintaining my level until the end of the season and to help Real Madrid win titles.  I’m not obsessed with numbers, but it’s clear that I would like to and I am motivated by breaking this record.

Q:  You don’t look at the pichichi table after each matchday, to see how you and your rivals are doing?

A:  I focus on working at the highest level to do my best for my team.  And in the end if I receive an award such as this one, great.  But if I had to choose between the pichichi and the Champions, it’s clear what I would choose.

Q:  What do you speak in the locker room, Portuguese or Spanish?

A:  I speak three or four languages in the locker room (laughs).  Good or bad, I speak Spanish, English, Portuguese, a bit of French and some words in German.  The truth is that the atmosphere in the locker room is phenomenal.

Q:  It’s said that what the míster did during the halftime against Villarreal was great – the explanation of the tactical changes with the bottles of water on the ground.

A:  (Hesitates a moment and then smiles) You have good sources of information, jajaja!!  I believe that we should never talk about what happens inside the locker room.  I’m not going to talk about this.  All I’ll say is that the míster wanted us to improve and he was able to get us to do so.

Q:  Has Mourinho taken pressure and some of the media attention off of you?

A:  Yes, Mou has taken a lot of pressure off of me, and I’m happy for that.  It’s good for me, because he’s a coach that generates a lot of front pages and covers, and people like it because he generates debates.  They might say good or bad things, but the important thing is that they speak about him.

Q:  Is the criticism that he receives justified?  Not a day goes by without some issue.

A:  People can say what they like, but they don’t know him.  Sometimes I laugh because I read things that make no sense.  Those are opinions, and we live in a democratic country where people can say what they want.  I don’t really read all of it, but from what little I’ve seen, many of the things that have been said are not true or are not justified.  It’s part of football, and his character.

Q:  Tell us what Mourinho is like with his players.

A:  He defends his players, and he talks a lot with us.  He’s a very open person and he listens to what you have to say, and he debates with us.  I love working with him.  My relationship with him, as well as the relationship between him and almost all of the players, is perfect [which just brings up the question, who is not included in the “almost all”?].  I hope it continues like that for many years.

Q:  Can you argue with him?

A:  (Hesitates for a moment) Semantic issues, yes.  Things about the group or the team, yes.  He may or may not agree with us, but he does listen to everything.

Q:  Casillas managed to get him to delay the concentración by two hours before the last Copa del Rey game.  This seems to be an issue that the team won’t give up on.

A:  Yes, it’s true.  Bit by bit, we’re going to see if we can continue to negotiate (laughs).

Q:  Do you identify with Mourinho’s personality, with his tremendous ambition?

A:  Yes, very much so.  Now that I’ve worked with him, I see that we have more things in common than I believed.  I love working with persons as ambitious as him, who want to win.  It makes me happy and I like it.

Q:  Would you like to be the captain of Real Madrid?

A:  It would be an honor, but it’s not something that attracts me.  I don’t feel like a leader; we all have our own personality and I can lead in other ways.  I feel like an important player and I can be a leader in some things, in my own way, the same that Sergio Ramos or Iker do in other ways.

Q:  Benzema is not taking advantage of Higuaín’s absence.  How do you see him?

A:  My sincere opinion is that Benzema does not deserve all the things that are being said about him.  If you analyze his last few games, you’ll see that he’s making an effort, that he’s fighting.  Sometimes things don’t go well, but Karim has an enormous value for us.

Q:  You could teach him about ambition.  No one doubts that he’s talented, but he seems to be a bit too apathetic.

A:  Each person has his own character, and he’s not doing badly.  I think he’s doing well: he’s improving, helping out the team and he’s contributed in the last few games.  Benzema is making an effort, and we don’t need to pressure him.

Q:  Do you believe he will triumph in Real Madrid?

A:  Why not?  It will be much better for him if he’s allowed to work in peace and not so much is said about him.

Q:  Who do you feel more comfortable with, Benzema or Higuaín?

A:  With both, that’s the truth!  I swear (laughs)!  But there are always players that you enjoy playing with more than others.  I like both of them.  They’re both phenomenal boys, so it’s not fair to say who I like playing with more.  Mourinho knows what I think.

The big belt buckle strikes again!  But at least it’s not a CR7 one, no?  And I’m betting that’s not a Timeforce watch.  But no Armani jeans?  When he’s the current face of the campaign?  Hmmm…

Q:  Of the young talents out there, who do you see as your successor, who resembles you?

A:  I don’t see anyone like me, with my specific characteristics.  There are a lot of great players.  On Real Madrid, we have Di María, Özil, Canales…

Q:  What’s your opinion on Canales?

A:  He’s great.  But he needs more time, because he’s still growing.  He’ll be a fantastic player.

Q:  Could he become a superstar?

A:  Yes, if he’s allowed to play without pressure.  He has the makings of a star, details which surprise all of us in the training sessions, but he still has a lot left to learn.  I like him a lot.

Q:  Are you surprised by Di María’s performance?

A:  Yes, although I was already familiar with him, since I follow the Portuguese league on TV and I saw him play many times with Benfica.  I wasn’t completely surprised because I knew when he signed that he would do well.  He’s the one that runs and fights the most on the team.  A great team always needs a footballer like that.  Right now he’s one of the most in-shape players on the team.

Q:  Of the canteranos that have trained with the first team, which one do you believe will go the farthest?

A:  I’ve seen some with a lot of quality in the few times they’ve trained with us.  Morata is a good player: he’s young, big, and he’s learning a lot and he could be a great footballer in the future.  I also see Juanfran doing big things, and Mateos as well.

Q:  Have you met Jesé?

A:  I’ve met all of them, but it’s difficult for me to remember everyone’s names.

Q:  Kaká started the game against Almería.  Before his injury, the two of you had connected very well, both on and off the field.  How is he doing now?

A:  He will bring a lot of happiness to Madrid’s fans.  He’s working very hard to return to how he was and I’m convinced he’s going to succeed.  If he doesn’t suffer any more injuries, he’s going to be very important for us because he’s still a superstar.

Q:  On the field, it’s clear that he still needs to get back into the rhythm of games.  Have you noticed his progression in the training sessions?

A:  Yes, Kaká is improving.  He’s not at 100 percent yet, and he needs to continue improving and playing.  He’ll return to the competitive level he had, but it will be a bit difficult, since he had a serious injury and was operated on.

Q:  His situation and that of Ronaldinho are different, no?

A:  Yes, you can’t compare the two.  Kaká is a very religious boy, a great person and he likes to work.  He’s one of the my best friends on the team, along with Pepe and Marcelo, because we speak Portuguese.  But I’m also good friend with Iker, Sergio… the truth is that I’m surprised and saddened when people say I don’t get along with others. [Ok, Spanish (including Catalán) –  and Italian – press, stop making Cristiano sad!!!]

Q:  You’re referring to Casillas.

A:  Yes.  I don’t understand it.  These things make me sad.  When it’s said that I’m not playing well or that I’m an idiot, I respect that because those are opinions.  But I get upset when things like this are said.  I don’t know where they come from!  It’s rubbish!  I get along with everyone, really I do.  If you ask my teammates, all of them will say the same thing.

Q:  What did you think when it was alleged that you and Iker didn’t speak?

A:  I was shocked.  How is that possible?  I was good, I was scoring, my family was good, and then this happened.  It was a senseless controversy.  I talked about it with him.

Q:  The day that Sara Carbonero, as a journalist, criticized you, you and Iker ended up joking about it via SMS, no?

A:  We spoke in that moment and cleared everything up.  It was a misunderstanding on my part and on the part of Iker and his girlfriend, but it’s normal, and we talked and made things right.  It’s not necessary to dramatize it or stir up controversy.  We’re good, and I get along well with Iker and with his girlfriend.  There’s nothing more to it.

Q:  What do you think about Pepe’s contract renewal?

A:  If I were president Florentino, I would have resigned him already.  Today.  I would call him and say, “Hey Pepe, come on over, we’re going to resign you” (laughs).  To me, he’s a phenomenal player who has to stay with Real Madrid.  I say this not only because he’s my friend, but because he’s a world class player.  If we already have him, it doesn’t make sense to let him go, don’t you think?  It’s a matter of paying some money and signing some papers.

Q:  Well, it appears that he’s asked for a lot more money.

A:  No, that’s what you all think.  He asked for what he deserves.  He has to continue with us.  I would like this matter to be settled already, and I have the hope that our president will resign him because he’s one of the best in the world.  I’m convinced they’ll reach an agreement.

35 Comments leave one →
  1. Dina permalink
    January 19, 2011 12:37

    plzzzzzzzz can someone tell me how we can save pics on RM website?! PLZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    • Jenny permalink
      January 19, 2011 16:19

      They normally have an arrow in the corner that points down. Right click on the arrow and hit “save”.

      • IsaBella permalink
        January 19, 2011 16:32

        there is no arrow anymore 😦

  2. Deb permalink
    January 19, 2011 12:54

    Una, what’s the deal with Sergio & Cris. Apparently, something was said on twitter about Sergio leaving Madrid after a lockerroom fight with Cris. People were posting about it on Sergio’s FB.

    Any idea what all this is about? Is it just the press trying to create more drama with Real Madrid, since the Sara/Iker/Cris thing is now squashed? At first I thought it was surely just more drama but then I saw that there was actually something on about it. Usually, ESPN stays away from the speculative stuff.

      • IsaBella permalink
        January 19, 2011 15:29

        Where exactly does he speak English?
        Personally, I believe this is just another tabloid story. With all the fuss over Pepe’s contract renewal I don’t think Real Madrid would let go of their vice-captain and the best defender. Nobody actually knows what happens in the locker room so this could be a made up story.

      • DebS permalink
        January 20, 2011 03:00

        yes. that link.

        Isabella, I would HOPE that whatever truly happens in the locker room is kept private but it seems that some stuff tends to leak out..for instance, the water bottle incident.

        “Julien Laurens, a journalist with French paper Le Parisien, revealed the news on his Twitter”

        Being the cynic that I am, I also wonder if it’s getting leaked by a WAG *cough* journalist *cough* who heard it from their guy. It’s sad to think that it might happen but you never know.

        Anyway, hopefully, it’s just more drama created by the media.

        • IsaBella permalink
          January 20, 2011 11:54

          of course, each club has insiders who seek drama to be leaked into the media; I don’t even know this French guy and where he got that info from, maybe he made it up himself to promote his Twitter account 😉

  3. faith permalink
    January 19, 2011 13:09

    Thnaks Una – I hope this shuts up the controversy mongers – like you said: Stop making Cristiano sad!

    He comes across as a very ambitious, determined but generous and loyal too no?

    I hope the surprise tomorrow are pictures of him with CR Jr.!

  4. gaelle permalink
    January 19, 2011 13:20

    damn, he is opening up really hard. i’m surprised at how he doesn’t munch on his words…. i am really shocked. and if he was not so good Perez will fire him, how in the hell does he get the courage to talk about all this…. hahahaha got to love him

  5. divine permalink
    January 19, 2011 13:21

    This Sara Cris Iker thing would be hilarious if it wasn’t so annoying. Who the hell leaks this stuff to the media anyway? I think that’s the bigger issue at hand. I know there are insiders on every team, and some of this info leaked can be good and entertaining. But c’mon this happend months ago, and was only revealed especially right after el classico. Seriously.

    Though I respect how he was really diplomatic and mature with his comments regarding “Iker and his girlfriend” (never going to be a credible journalist in his eyes lol).Even if Iker and Cris aren’t bff’s they at least respect eachother and along with the rest of the team appear like a cohesive unit on a personal level.
    Having said that, one can’t help but feel Cris is still ticked off –
    “I’m not going to change because someone said something bad about me” lol

    Thanks for your amazing work as usual, Una. We love you!

    • Kai permalink
      January 20, 2011 01:28

      Cristiano’s whole life has been full of people saying bad things about him. He’s not ticked off. He’s just saying it like it is. But yeah, how do people even get to know about this kind of inside stuff? :S

  6. Whiskey permalink
    January 19, 2011 13:23

    Really enjoyed this interview Una so thanks for translating! I have to admit I used to be on the fence about Cris back in his Man U days [not as a player of course , there is no arguing he is phenomonel – but he did come off as a bit of an “idiot” – I will use his own word :)] but in the past few years I really have warmed to him – as many others have said before, the Cris that comes through in interviews like this as well as the high praise that comes from other players re his drive, his dedication and his selflessness, is a very different one than a lot of the media portray. I am sure he chose his words carefully here and tends not to say anything controversial but who can blame him when the media create their own controversies anyhow. Funny reaction to the reporter mentioning Mou using the bottles in the dressing room. Nice comments about Karim as well – he does seem like a very different personality and Mou seemed to suggest this when he made some comments about him [something to the effect of him not having the hunger to score ]. I do hope he gets it together. anyhow thanks again!

  7. Yasamin permalink
    January 19, 2011 13:27

    aaaawwwwww I love Cris he is so friggin adorable .

  8. Dina permalink
    January 19, 2011 13:29

    Una fnatstic job as always; u always fill in the blanks for me when I don’t get it all in Spanish; I first read the originals then I show up her 🙂
    ps:plzzzzzzzz can someone tell me how we can save pics on RM website?! PLZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  9. Cindy permalink
    January 19, 2011 13:37

    Thank you Una, i’m so happy to have read this. On some other forum they’re saying that Cris said some not so nice things about Higuain & Benzema, but reading this I’m not seeing anything negative. In fact he’s very complementary to Hig & Benzema.

    Sigh ***can the media stop with their bullshit about Cris fighting with all his teamates. Honeslty it’s getting ridiculious.

  10. Pammie permalink
    January 19, 2011 13:39

    I’m with him, resign Pepe already, Perezidente!

    He should be a diplomat too once he’s done with being a futbolista.
    Thanks for the translation, I’m looking forward to part 3!

  11. PepperPots permalink
    January 19, 2011 13:50

    LOL at the water bottles! GUILTY!!!

  12. January 19, 2011 14:16

    Cristiano is endearing himself more and more to me with this series of interviews.

    On another note, have you seen this?

    • January 19, 2011 15:42

      Yes, it’s not fair is it? I was rushing to post that, and Fernando Llorente in Telva as well!

  13. Marshmallow permalink
    January 19, 2011 14:39


  14. Milleca permalink
    January 19, 2011 14:47

    Oh Cristiano, never change. I really loved the water bottles part!

  15. IsaBella permalink
    January 19, 2011 14:59

    What a linguistic locker room 🙂 I like Cristiano’s accent when he speaks Spanish, a pure portuniol 😉
    “almost all the players” – I wonder about that statement, too….
    “When it’s said that I’m not playing well or that I’m an idiot, I respect that because those are opinions” – thank you Cristiano for a mature response. And you are not an idiot, in my opinion.
    DSquared jeans, I’m getting envious 🙂

  16. browneyedgirl permalink
    January 19, 2011 15:39

    Has anyone heard rumors of Sergio Ramos leaving RM because they said he got in a fight with Cristiano? I hope not.

    • Zparklemotion permalink
      January 19, 2011 16:57

      I thought that rumour started in an Italian footy rag? Gazetta dello Sporte or something something? Anyway, I highly doubt there’s anything in it. Rumours are too easy to start these days.

  17. amouria permalink
    January 19, 2011 16:28

    Again, he’s mature or well-trained to handle interviews. Speaks good about his colleagues, coach, president. I am sure that RM is using a consultant to help players in this regard. This is perhaps one of Mou’s requirement 🙂
    Very nice when he said that we do not speak about the locker room. This is really really a RED-LINE.
    Cris, blesses to you.
    Una: take a breath….but it is your fault, you spoiled your (female) readers….hahaha

  18. Lily permalink
    January 19, 2011 18:08

    Awesome once again UNA!!!! Much love from Canada 🙂

  19. Agustina permalink
    January 19, 2011 22:54

    I would love to hear Cristiano speaking in French or German!!

    • emma permalink
      January 20, 2011 03:27

      there are videos of him speaking some french in youtube for example

  20. Lauren permalink
    January 19, 2011 23:54

    I like Cristiano’s answers. I really, really hope that the news about Sergio Ramos leaving Real Madrid are not true! And the rumours about Mourinho as well! Heard that he wants to leave the team in the summer because of some disagreements like the problem with getting a new striker. Hope these are false!!!

  21. Ebrahim permalink
    January 20, 2011 08:21

    CR displays humility and a pride for the badge, i respect him more after this interview.

  22. Bekah permalink
    January 20, 2011 16:45

    Great interview by Cris… I think you’re right to compare him with Mou. What he said about the Iker rumors made me sad, too!! Actually all of his coverage in the press makes me sad, personally, because people overlook his talent so much. Now that the Iker issue has calmed down I guess people think they need to create another story, this time about Sergio… ugh!

  23. Lilly permalink
    January 22, 2011 06:48

    hi, i’m real madarid fan in south korea.
    *in koera, realmadrid fandom is tremendous!!
    i do not english well, but leave this comment.
    your blog is amazing!
    you transrate spanish in english?

    my blog, your posting transrate in korean.
    this is hard to me. but funny.

    thank you for your posting 🙂
    have a good day!


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