Ron­aldo ‘not ob­sessed’ with Bal­lon d’Or – rather, Madrid’s his true love

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

CRIS­TIANO Ron­aldo has in­sisted he is not ob­sessed with win­ning the Bal­lon d’Or for a sec­ond time de­spite a se­ries of scin­til­lat­ing per­for­mances that have made him the strong favourite to win the award.

Ron­aldo scored his fifth hat­trick of the sea­son for club and coun­try against Swe­den in mid­week to en­sure Por­tu­gal will travel to next year’s World Cup in Brazil and take his tally for the cam­paign to 31 goals in just 21 ap­pear­ances.

Fifa’s de­ci­sion to ex­tend the date for votes to be cast for the award from Novem­ber 15 to Novem­ber 29 is also ex­pected to weigh heav­ily in Ron­aldo’s favour with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, win­ner of the award for the past four years, side­lined un­til the end of the year with a ham­string in­jury.

And the for­mer Manch­ester United man, who was pre­vi­ously crowned World Player of the Year in 2008, re­fused to con­firm ru­mours that he was con­sid­er­ing not even at­tend­ing the awards cer­e­mony af­ter re­act­ing an­grily to com­ments Fifa pres­i­dent Sepp Blat­ter made re­cently about his de­meanour on the field.

“I don’t think a lot about the Bal­lon d’Or. I know that it is handed out in Jan­uary, but I can­not say that I will not go,” he told Span­ish ra­dio sta­tion COPE.

“I pre­fer to not say any­thing be­cause things don’t de­pend solely on me. I am not ob­sessed with the Bal­lon d’Or. We will see what hap­pens.”

How­ever, wor­ry­ingly for Madrid’s ri­vals, Ron­aldo in­sisted he is fo­cus­ing on con­tin­u­ing to im­prove his stag­ger­ing re­turn of 225 goals in 216 games since join­ing the club over four years ago.

“In my head I al­ways think I can im­prove. My am­bi­tion is al­ways to be bet­ter. Per­haps you reach a level that is hard to beat, but I al­ways think I can im­prove in ev­ery­thing.

“The best thing is that, right now, I am bet­ter pre­pared and you could say that I am in one of the best mo­ments of my ca­reer.

“I have demon­strated a very high and good level and I hope to main­tain that for the rest of my ca­reer.”

And, hav­ing re­cently signed a new deal with the Span­ish gi­ants ty­ing him to the club un­til 2018, the 28-year-old re­it­er­ated his de­sire to re­tire as a Madrid player.

“I don’t think a lot about the fu­ture. I pre­fer to think more about the present. When the present is good, when you are happy and mo­ti­vated to do things well then you are less wor­ried about the fu­ture.

“But truth­fully, right now, I feel like I want to end my ca­reer here be­cause I feel very happy.’I love liv­ing in Madrid, I love play­ing for the best club in the world and I can’t ask for more.” – Sapa-AFP

AP PHOTO

FO­CUSED ON REAL: Cris­tiano Ron­aldo says it’s his am­bi­tion to be as best as he can.

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