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CRISTIANO RONALDO

‘I’m not obsessed with Ballon d’Or’: Ronaldo

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

'I'm not obsessed with Ballon d'Or': Ronaldo
“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,” Cristian told Spanish radio station COPE. Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP

Ronaldo scored his fifth hat-trick 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.”

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FOOTBALL

Ronaldo presents fifth Ballon d’Or to Bernabeu

Cristiano Ronaldo paraded his record-equalling fifth Ballon d'Or to an adoring Santiago Bernabeu before Real Madrid's clash with Sevilla on Saturday.

Ronaldo presents fifth Ballon d'Or to Bernabeu
Photo: AFP

Ronaldo pulled level on Thursday with Barcelona rival Lionel Messi as the only two men to have won the annual award for the best player in the world five times.

It is the fourth time in five years Ronaldo has beaten Messi to the prize. This time he did it on the back of Madrid's feat of becoming the first side to retain the Champions League since 1990.

And the 85,000 crowd at the Bernabeu serenaded the Portuguese with chants of “Cristiano, Ballon d'Or” as he posed for photos with all five of his golden ball trophies.

A total of seven Madrid players were included in the top 30 for the prestigious award handed out by France Football magazine.

However, Real had to cope on Saturday without suspended captain Sergio Ramos, who came sixth in the voting, among a host of defensive absences as they strove to move to within five points of Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

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