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Cristiano at “El Partido de las 12”

June 14, 2011

Cadena COPE traveled to Lisbon yesterday to interview the very tan Cristiano Ronaldo, who appears to be spending a lot of his vacation on the beach.  My personal highlights from the interview below (the parts dealing with Cris the person, not Cris the futbolista), since I don’t have time to translate it all!  And as always, my favorite part is the show’s little test… By the way, the more I hear from Cristiano, the more I love him.

What three places would you recommend us in Lisbon?

There are many great things in this city, which is where I started my career.  I came when I was 11 and stayed seven years.  It’s a great city, with great people and many museums, the beach, good food… it’s phenomenal, and very similar to Madrid, but with a beach [yes, that’s the only thing that Madrid lacks!!].

And bacalhau?

Yes, of course, it’s a traditional Portuguese food and I love it, but we have many more things.

How is your vacation going?

Great, I’ve been spending time in Algarve with my family.  It’s been phenomenal, the weather’s great and I’m very tan.  I still have a few more days of “relax.”

Would you like the season to start now?

No, right now I want to be on vacation.  When it comes time to compete, I’m sure I will be very good but now it’s the time to rest.  It’s very important to spend time with the family, with my son, and I’m very happy.

You’re not doing any physical work during your vacation?

Well, it’s good to rest the first two or three weeks.  But I’m not staying at home in bed doing nothing [I’m sure he’s at home in bed doing something, though].  I like to play tennis with my friends or go to the beach.  If I stop doing everything, I’ll get bored.  I like to play sports and play football with my childhood teammates.

So when you’re on vacation, how many sit-ups do you do a day?  Eight thousand?

Me?  Zero, zero, zero.

And during the season?

A bit, just to stay in shape.

Grade your season on a scale of zero to 10.

That’s difficult.  I’m not a very conceited person.  Many people think so, but those people who really know me know that I’m not.  I can be a bit conceited, but I’m not an angel either.  But zero to 10… I don’t know, an eight or a nine.

And the team?

Eight or nine as well.  If we won another title, it would have been a phenomenal season.  We only won one, but it was important because Real Madrid hadn’t won it for 17 or 18 years.  We didn’t win more, but we have to be positive and think that we’re going to achieve it.

What did the arrival of Mourinho mean to you?

It was very important for me, in part because he’s Portuguese.  The best thing for me was that he’s shown he’s the best in every league that he’s coached in.  For me, the best are those who win in many leagues, not only in one.  And he’s done that.  It’s the same for players.  If you’re good here, then you have to be good in Spain or Italy.  And for me he’s the best because he’s won all the championships that he could.  And it was important for Madrid as well, because he has a winner’s mentality.  Only those who work with him know what he’s really like.  People have no idea what goes on inside the locker room and during the training sessions, and yet they form an opinion.  You may love him or hate him; the same thing happens with me.  For me, he’s phenomenal, a great coach and I hope he continues coaching me for many years.

Is Mourinho the best coach in the world?  You’ve worked with Alex Ferguson as well…

It’s different.   You can’t compare a Ferrari with a Porsche.  You can like the Ferrari more or the Porsche more.  There are different opinions.  For me, they’re the best coaches I’ve worked with.  Mourinho has impressed me with his training method, which is the best.  But we can’t compare.

Xavi said that Mourinho wouldn’t go down in the history of football, because he didn’t invent anything…

He may or may not have invented anything, but he’s won.  He’s won in all competitions and in the most important leagues.  There’s nothing more to say, because the statistics speak for themselves.

Mourinho is still working in Madrid while everyone else is on vacation…

That shows what a great professional he is and that he always wants to improve.

When the first leg semifinal of the Champions ended, you were asked if you liked how Madrid played, and you said, “no, but that’s the way it is.”  Do you want to explain this?

Everything has already been said.  I spoke with my teammates and the míster.  Sometimes what we think is not what we should say.  Sometimes we say things that we don’t want to say.  I didn’t have any bad intentions, but I was frustrated with the game and with Pepe’s expulsion.  Sometimes what I want to say is not really the truth.  But this chapter is already closed and everything’s good.  No one is perfect.

If the Copa was thrown off the bus, would the Champions League cup have a chance of getting to Madrid?

I’m sure that it wouldn’t have made it to Madrid.  If you give the cup to Sergio Ramos, he’ll have to stay in the locker room.

Would you ever play in Barcelona?

For me, money is not the most important thing.  If it were, I would have double what I have in my account now.  Many people believe that footballers only think about money, and it’s not like that.  When I was 18, I may have thought about it, but right now I don’t lack anything thanks to God.  For me, how the persons are treated is more important than money and in Madrid I’m phenomenal.  I would sign a contract for 10 years to stay in Madrid, until the end of my career.

Would you like to retire in Madrid?

Why not?  But there are circumstances that can happen in football, circumstances with your family, with presidents, coaches, players… you never know.  Right now, I would like to stay, but in the future, you never know, things could change.

Were you born to play in Madrid?

I chose Madrid because I liked it better than all the rest.

I liked that you said that money is not everything in life…

It’s true.  Anyone who knows me knows how I think… but there are many opinions and you have to respect all of them.  We all have different opinions and that’s the beautiful thing about life.

Who would you like to have next year, Agüero or Neymar?

Are you speaking of these players in Madrid?

Don’t mess around with me…

I’m serious, I’m completely out of the loop here.

Neymar has a more of a cresta (like a rooster’s comb) than you, so if he comes you’ll have to cut it off…

No, that’s not necessary, it’s his style.  And you’re not going to ask me about Fabio?  (They then talk about Kun, Neymar and Coentrão.)

What do you think about the incorporation of Sahin, Callejón and Altintop?

They’re players that Madrid has signed and I think they are great players who will help the team, so we have to support them when they arrive [I love that Cris said this!  Practically every new foreign player last year spoke about how welcoming and nice Cris is.  It’s frustrating that no one said that about Iker, who should be filling this role as well.]  Callejón knows the Spanish league, and he’s played in the cantera.  And those two German boys are going to be great as well, they both have Turkish origins, and Özil will be there for them.  I’m sure it will be great… new players, new mentality, new ambitions…

Sahin is great at taking free kicks.  Are you going to let him take any?

(Laughs) On my side, no.  On the left side, I’ll let him.  The míster will decide and you have to respect what he says.  On my side, I’ll take them.

Would you purchase Adebayor from City?

If I were the president, I would.  He’s a great footballer, and an even better person inside the locker room.  At times, it’s not only important to be a good player, but also to be a good person.  He brings a lot to the locker room.  He transmits joy, just like Marcelo.  He sends out positive energy.

Where are you insulted more, in Spain or in England?

There are no doubts: I’m insulted much more in Spain.  I don’t understand why they say these things.  I forget them, but hearing “die…” We can’t get accustomed to that, although we have to live with it.

And of course, the interview ends with the program’s trademark test.

Patron saint of Madeira?  I don’t know.  Nuestra Señora do Monte.

Patron saint of Madrid?  Florentino, no?  (Laughs) San Isidro.  [Very good, Cris!]

You say your worst quality is shyness.  Who have you tricked into believing this?  All of you.  I don’t like celebrations.

Your first salary was 50 euros.  And your latest one?  A bit more…

Is it true that you like to cook?  It’s not.  I’m only a good assistant.

Your star dish?  Paella.

Who did you say the following to: “it’s not worth it for you to contaminate my house.”  To one of my cousins.  I don’t like people smoking in my house.

Is there any habit worse than using your fingers to play around with gum?  Yes, biting my nails.

A Barcelona player.  Is it obligatory to answer?  (One of the interviewers shouts Pinto.)  Okay, Pinto.

In Portugal, what does this gesture mean?  (The gesture that Mourinho and Cris did upon returning from Barcelona… we were robbed…)  One, two, three.  Ricky Martin’s music.  [Jajajaja!!!!]

What is this?  “Amor mío, mi vida está vacía sin ti…”  Did you listen to that?  Did you like it?  I like to sing in the locker room, in the shower, but alone [you mean there are times when he’s not alone in the locker room shower?]

A city to live in: Madrid.

A place to lose yourself:  the Maldives.

Favorite band: I have many.  Sadé.  [Between this and Mou’s Bryan Adams…]

Favorite movie:  The Silence of the Lambs.

Favorite actress: Angelina Jolie.

The football stadium that impressed you the most: the Santiago Bernabéu.

Athlete that you admire: I like Tyson and Tiger Woods.

Favorite food: in Spain, paella.  And also bacalao.  A bit of everything.

A dream: to win La Décima.

Have a listen to the interview here, and the test here.

I’m waiting for Gucci to reveal that Cris is their next model, because he really does wear something from them every day.

26 Comments leave one →
  1. mar permalink
    June 14, 2011 17:55

    when i read “the weather’s great and I’m very tan.” i said what??
    and that mini-questioner is really funny

  2. June 14, 2011 17:56

    I share your frustration regarding Iker, Una. But could it also be because he finds it hard to communicate with the new players? It’s not like he has Google Translate available to him on the field, or while out to dinner. On the other hand, Cris speaks English quite well, so maybe the new players just find it easier to talk to him or give him a call if they need help in Madrid.

  3. manie permalink
    June 14, 2011 18:01

    Cristiano has over the course of two seasons become one of my favorite people in football. His interviews are interesting and honest. Thanks for translating, I definitely missed some (most?) of it when I tried to listen.

  4. Jennifer permalink
    June 14, 2011 18:17

    Patron saint of Madrid? Florentino, no?

    Ahahahaha!! Oh Cris. You are a comedy genius!

  5. gaelle permalink
    June 14, 2011 20:04

    “I’m sure that it wouldn’t have made it to Madrid. If you give the cup to Sergio Ramos, he’ll have to stay in the locker room.”
    hahahahahaha best line ever… Sergio is going to have cris for dinner when they get back in Madrid

  6. amouria permalink
    June 14, 2011 21:29

    Cris is becoming really mature. Very good in handling interviews, knows what to say.
    I agree with KAT that Iker lacks language skills, so that is one reason. But come on, what about Marcelo? Pepe? both have been appreciated by the new players although their knowledge of English is ZERO.
    somehow, I feel that Iker is a bit distanced from the rest. I remember some of his pics being really far, mentally and spatially.
    Love your posts today Una, keep it up, we really miss you…we miss RM so badly…

  7. Gillian permalink
    June 14, 2011 21:48

    CR has quite the tan! Also, loved this quote: “At times, it’s not only important to be a good player, but also to be a good person.”

    Every now and then – for example in photos such as these – it hits me what a lovely, sweet smile Cris has!

  8. jellyace permalink
    June 14, 2011 23:02

    Unlike Iker, who had never left home while he was a canterano, Cristiano often speaks of his lonely time leaving home at a young age to play football. From then on he went to play in England and then Madrid. Perhaps because of this, he is more conscious than Iker is of how it feels to be in a strange country with no friends. And that is probably why he fosters the foreign newcomers like a big brother. It is so thoughtful of him.

  9. marsy permalink
    June 15, 2011 00:28

    @kat if I remember correctly ozil and khedira answered to questions about ronaldo, if you mean them. It would weird to start talking about iker then.
    It seems like the standard question to every new RM player is ‘how’s ronaldo’

  10. black widow permalink
    June 15, 2011 01:25

    I want to believe what kat said, that iker isn’t comfortable speaking english (ronaldo speaks, what, 3? 4? Languages fluently?) So he may not be as verbose and obviously outgoing to the newbies, but I want to believe he’s welcoming in his own way. I think ronaldo’s personality is more outgoing than iker’s too, as captain, iker may be a bit more formal and circumspect. My opinion, anyway. 🙂

    Ugh, I cannot believe he chose tyson and woods as his sports role models! There’s no arguing they’re successful in their fields, but two more vile human beings, I cannot think of.

    I LOVED his answer about the patron saint of madrid, and I loved your comment about what he does in bed all day! Hahahahaha!

    Is that really true that xavi said that? Jesus, he never knows when to shut up, does he? So obnoxious.

  11. June 15, 2011 01:44

    cristiano’s dream is to win La Decima


    i love him so muuuuuuch: x””’3

  12. June 15, 2011 04:02

    Iker is cool and reserved though isn’t he? I remember him making some unfriendly comments about Beckham before he arrived. And there’s nothing wrong With Sade! Bryan Adams on the other hand..

  13. cisarovna permalink
    June 15, 2011 05:47

    I liked this interview. Maybe I am gullible, but he seems to say what he is thinking, for better or worse. Maybe he relates well to the foreign players because he went through a similar experience, but Iker knows Madrid so well, he should be a better tour guide.

    And really, of all of the athletes he had to pick Mike Tyson and Tiger Woods? Oh my.

  14. June 15, 2011 06:49

    hehe imagine Iker with Google Translate out with him on the field in the form of a smart phone…anyway “I’m sure that it wouldn’t have made it to Madrid. If you give the cup to Sergio Ramos, he’ll have to stay in the locker room.” hahaha pobre Sergio, his team mates are never going to let this go. hm The Silence of the Lambs, I’m a bit surprised by this but ok.

  15. Louise permalink
    June 15, 2011 16:28

    Tyson and Tiger? He really needs better sports role models…

  16. Egrild permalink
    June 15, 2011 16:29

    He’s really matured over the past two years, don’t you think?

    But obviously, no one will notice, Messi is the humblest person on the eatch, Ronaldo is a diva and Real Madrid have a bad influence on their players, jajajajaja

    • June 15, 2011 22:43

      and you live in an altered state of reality.

      • June 16, 2011 18:57

        I think Egrild was being sarcastic and joking about how Messi is treated like a saint while Cris is seen as a horrible arrogant jerk.

        • emily permalink
          June 19, 2011 04:56

          one can only hope! that helps, tho, so thanks!

  17. jean permalink
    June 15, 2011 19:28

    I like this interview.. And I love that he says whatever he thinks and doesnt care about what people say.
    Never change cris, never change:)

  18. Pam permalink
    June 15, 2011 20:38

    I agree with other comments. Cris appears to have matured in the recent past and is coming across as more likeable and not as self centered as he’s been accused. He’s competitive but is also a good sort.

    Iker on the other hand seems to be regressing with old age 🙂

  19. Elizabeth permalink
    June 16, 2011 03:35

    Sometimes what we think is not what we should say. Sometimes we say things that we don’t want to say. I didn’t have any bad intentions, but I was frustrated with the game and with Pepe’s expulsion. Sometimes what I want to say is not really the truth. But this chapter is already closed and everything’s good. No one is perfect.

    Honestly when I read this I literally got the impression that Cristiano had been brainwashed to think this, or at least say this. I love Real Madrid, but let’s face it, they played horribly against Barcelona in that first match. Cristiano spoke the truth then and now he’s trying to backtrack because it looks bad for the team.

  20. June 16, 2011 17:12

    “For me, the best are those who win in many leagues, not only in one.”


  21. Jessie permalink
    June 16, 2011 17:40

    it’s funny he doesn’t want his cousin smoking in his house, but i’ve seen photos of irina smoking so i hope she doesn’t do that in the house either, especially around the baby. I love sade too, though!!

  22. Pipita permalink
    June 16, 2011 19:05

    As Iker didn’t appear in the comercial for Madrid, he now has his own one for Cancun.

    • emily permalink
      June 19, 2011 05:07

      dying… however – that being said, he has NOT sold me on travelling to Cancun. Although, anywhere he is is where I want to be.

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