Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

I'm the best in the world, says Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo believes he fully deserves to be named FIFA Player of the Year.

Ronaldo is a firm favourite to emulate last year's winner Kaka and lift both the European and World player of the year titles.

The 23-year-old helped fire United to the Premier League and Champions League double last season with 43 goals, and believes there is still more to come.

"I am the first, second and third best player in the world," joked Ronaldo in an interview with Brazilian daily O Estado de Sao Paulo.

"But there are other good candidates, like Kaka, (Lionel) Messi and (Fernando) Torres.

"I think that I did everything that is necessary to win and I am going to continue doing more.

"My goal is to win everything that is in front of me."

Brazil legend Pele expects to be giving the prize to the Portugal winger this year, and Ronaldo draws particular pleasure from his comments.

"That represents a lot for me, he was a great player in world football," added Ronaldo. "It was a special sensation for me to hear that from Pele."

With each season that passes, Ronaldo is hitting the back of the net more and more frequently.

Despite missing the start of the season after ankle surgery he already has nine goals for United, but revealed it was never his aim to be a prolific goalscorer.

"My objective, sincerely, was never to score goals," he added. "I like to play for the team, or what I want most is to win games.

"But, if the goals appear, all the better. I am having the luck of scoring many goals and I hope things continue like this."

Ronaldo is set to fly out to Brazil with the rest of the Portugal squad for a friendly, with both sides struggling to hit top form recently.

"Brazil has, doubtless, the best players in the world. The national team is excellent but bad results sometimes happen," he added.

"We hope to win the game but we know about the difficulties."

Carlos Queiroz won his first two games in charge after taking over from Luiz Felipe Scolari, but Portugal have since lost to Denmark and suffered goaless draws against Sweden and Albania.

They are now third in their World Cup qualifying group, level on points with Sweden and Albania and two behind Hungary and Denmark, but Ronaldo is confident they can turn things around.

"Felipao is a great friend," he said. "I feel very sad that he had to leave Portugal, he had an excellent time in charge. I adored working with him.

"Queiroz has still not had much time to develop his work. Two years ago England also had problems and afterwards recovered.

"It's a phase that big national teams are always subject to. We are going to recover."

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