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Ronaldo at AS

April 2, 2011
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Don’t forget, original Ronaldo will be honored for the services rendered to Real Madrid before tonight’s game against Sporting!  And since he’s in Madrid already, he took the opportunity to talk to the press.  Here’s the interview from AS.

What will you feel when you step on the grass of the Bernabéu again?

Beautiful and great sensations.  I miss being in Madrid, and I’ll get emotional stepping onto the field at the Bernabéu.

You left Madrid during the winter transfer market, which was like leaving through the back door.  Does this tribute help to make up for that?

Florentino asked me if I wanted to receive this tribute and I said yes happily.  I was here for five wonderful years and I scored the most goals with this team (104).  (The club) Madrid is very special to me.

What is the best memory that you have of Madrid?

I have great memories: Sundays at the Bernabéu, these fans, the Liga that we won…

Would you erase the bad memories?

I also remember sad things, such as when Juve eliminated us in the semifinals of the Champions during a season where we were playing quite well.  But the balance is positive.

Would winning a Champions League have been the icing in the cake?

Yes, I never won a Champions, but my career has been perfect and I can’t complain about anything.

You deserve this tribute, but el madridismo finds it strange that Del Bosque has not been honored so far.  Should he be?

I’m sure they will honor him.  He’s still with the Spanish national team.  They’re world champions and I’m sure he deserves a tribute from Real Madrid.

Del Bosque always had nice things to say about you, is the admiration mutual?

He’s more of a friend than a coach.  He’s a fantastic administrator of groups and all of the players were delighted with him.  We didn’t have any internal conflicts and with Del Bosque, everything was happiness.

Was it a mistake for him not to have continued with Madrid?

His departure surprised all of us.  It was unexpected.  It was announced, and effective the next day.  The players never had any say in the decisions of the president.

You couldn’t convince Florentino to let Del Bosque continue?

I didn’t even have time to convince him.  When I found out, through the press, Del Bosque was already out of Real Madrid.

What memories do you have of Mourinho when he was Bobby Robson’s assistant during your time at Barça?

I was quite young, 19 years old.  He was a great person, a good friend, always with us.  There were four players that spoke Portuguese and we were all close to José.

Did you think then that he would have this fantastic career as a coach?

I couldn’t even have imagined all that he would achieve.  But I knew that he had great leadership and decision making skills; I saw quality in him.

You were also teammates with Guardiola!  Did you also think that he would become such a successful coach?

¡Hombre, Pepe! Pepe was always one of the greats.  He was as a player and is now as a coach.  He helped me to score many goals!

Where would you fit better, on Mourinho’s team or Guardiola’s?

They’re both very good!  But since I spent more time at Madrid, I would choose Mourinho.  I would have liked to play on this team, but my time has passed.

Which competition do you believe Madrid is the favorite in?

I hope Madrid wins the triplete!  In Spain, I’m a madridista.

And there could be four clásicos in 15 days!

I’m sure they’ll all be emotional.

The best goal of your career?

The two I scored against Germany in the 2002 World Cup final.  They were the two most important goals of my career.

Have you scored that goal that you always dreamed about since you were a kid?

No!  I also dreamed of scoring from a bicycle kick and I never did.  I was never very good at falling and I always feared that I would break something (laughs).

Your best accomplice on the front line?

I’ve had many and very good ones, but the one that helped me score the most goals was Luc Nilis, in PSV Eindhoven.

The teammate that you most admired?

Zinedine Zidane.

Who played the best defense on you?

Paolo Maldini.

What do you think about Kaká’s situation?

I’ve spoken a lot to Kaká lately.  He’s going through some tough times, but I’m sure he’ll return and demonstrate why he was a star signing and why he was the best player in the world.

Benzema is becoming a star…

He already scored goals the first year.  But from the time that Higuaín was injured, he got more continuity and he’s doing well, scoring great and important goals.  I wish him luck because Madrid’s forwards have to score many goals.

Raúl said that he is able to continue competing at the highest level because he doesn’t go out and he takes care of himself.  What are your thoughts?

I don’t think that has anything to do with a footballer’s career.  Each one can choose the career that they want to have.  If it were like that, many footballers who never go out would be playing until they were 50.  Zizou, who never went out, also retired at the age of 33.  The normal thing it to retire between the ages of 30 and 38.

Were those parties of Ronaldo a myth, or were they as spectacular as was claimed?

They’re a myth.  I was single and when I didn’t have any club commitments and my work wouldn’t be affected, I held parties that all guys my age have.

What is your favorite food?

I like Italian cuisine.  And Spanish cuisine is spectacular.  The fish you have here in Spain can’t be had anywhere else in the world.

Is your son Ronald going to become a footballer?

He likes it a lot.  I’ll support him, but I won’t be an overbearing father.

Will you live in Madrid?

I’ll come a lot, since I love this city.  I also have great friends here, such as Juni Calafat and Renato.  And (the club) Madrid is here!

AS also provided this helpful guide to many of Ronaldo’s stellar moments in Madrid.  He really did provide for some amusing, amusing moments.  Looking back on it now makes me feel nostalgic (not to mention old!!!).

The non-wedding in Paris: he brought almost the entire team, and Florentino, to Paris for his wedding ceremony, but he couldn’t get married because his divorce from Milene was not finalized.

Strange celebrations: he formed a clique with the Brazilians (including Luxemburgo).  They invented strange ways to celebrate the goals, such as the famous “cockroach” celebration.

Arriving late for the FIFA award ceremony: he didn’t like Kahn and so he arrived an hour and a half late for the FIFA World Player awards ceremony in Madrid’s Palacio de Congresos.

No to concentraciones: Madrid was playing for the Liga in the Calderón.  Valdano wanted the team to sequestered.  Del Bosque said, “I’ll propose it.”  Ronaldo told Valdano, “don’t worry, we won’t stay at a hotel but I’ll score two goals.”  And he did.

Happy birthday: his birthday parties were saw the jet set flying into Madrid.

Golf bets: golf was his great passion.  He played with César and they bet 10 euros on each hole, and 50 for the more difficult ones.

Cheating during training: in the training sessions, he would round corners to avoid running the full distance.  He told Camacho, “a pianist doesn’t run around a piano in order to play well.”

De María was his favorite: he could often be found at De María for lunch or dinner.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. ebrahim permalink
    April 2, 2011 15:51

    Ronaldo. One of the greatest. Thank you phenomenon.

  2. Jenny permalink
    April 2, 2011 16:15

    It makes you feel good to read it – but you also want to cry again!

  3. LISAbon permalink
    April 2, 2011 16:53

    Hey, Una. Thz for the interview.

    I just have a tiny, tiny, complaint, though. I’m portuguese, therefore I love Cristiano Ronaldo, so I find it a bit annoying when people say “original Ronaldo”.. I know you don’t mean anything with it, but here in Portugal, we hate when people say that, because it sounds like our Ronaldo is fake.

    Again, I know you don’t mean anything with it, but I just wanted to let you know, that it’s frowned upon here in Portugal, even people who are madridistas and love Brazillian Ronaldo.. ( see, that’s a good alternative, no? )

  4. nikki permalink
    April 2, 2011 20:03

    omg, ronaldo mentioning luc nilis!!

  5. Bernard permalink
    April 3, 2011 15:42

    The best remedy for the hangover from last night..

    R9 is my all time favorite player!! And he totally deserves this honor! Thank you Florentino Perez!

    This interview is great, awesome questions and funny answers, one of the best I’ve read.

    Thank you Una for translating it for us.

  6. superfan permalink
    April 3, 2011 17:17

    Cryinggggg. God, I wanted him to run onto the field last night and play and kick assss. I feel like he could’ve made a difference. I miss him so much.

    Awesome interview! Thank you for translating, Una. 🙂

  7. April 4, 2011 02:15

    Legend, enough said. ♥

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