Cristiano Ronaldo, it’s probably safe to say, is not short of confidence. But if you were Cristiano Ronaldo, neither would you be.
Having won all there is to win in club football and scored a quite frankly obscene amount of goals along the way, Ronaldo has developed a reputation for arrogance over the years. But it’s not arrogance if you back it up.
We’ve taken a look back at eight of some of his most self-confident quotes to which you can’t help but say ‘fair enough’.
A number of stories regarding Ronaldo surrounded Juve’s stunning Champions League comeback against Atletico Madrid, which was secured thanks to a brilliant hat-trick in the second leg from the forward.
In the build-up to the game, it was reported that Ronaldo had urged his friends and family to make sure they watched the match as he was so sure he would score a treble.
And when it was put to the Portuguese by Sky Italia after the match that Juve had never managed such a big comeback in the Champions League beforehand, he simply replied: “Maybe that’s why they signed me.”
When asked about arrogance itself, Ronaldo was more than happy to admit to the character trait and managed to do so while referencing God.
“There are people out there who hate me and who say I’m arrogant, vain and whatever. That’s all part of my success. I am made to be the best,” he told Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo in 2016.
“We cannot live being obsessed with what other people think about us. It’s impossible to live like that. Not even God managed to please the entire world.”
A simple, straight-forward message which is hard to argue with from Ronaldo: “I don’t have to show anything to anyone. There is nothing to prove.”
Ronaldo has scored a number of memorable free-kicks throughout his career, becoming one of the pioneers of the knuckleball technique. So what’s his secret?
“My free-kick secret? I just look at the net and say, ‘Take the kick, Cristiano.’”
After a Champions League victory over Dinamo Zagreb in 2012, Ronaldo was asked why he had been jeered by fans, to which he responded with another straight-to-the-point answer.
“It’s surely because I’m good-looking, rich and a great footballer. They’re jealous of me. I don’t have any other explanation.”
Self-confidence is hardly new to Ronaldo, who replied to a question to rank the best three footballers in the world in 2008 by saying: “I am the first, second and third.”
That confidence clearly didn’t falter over the next decade, as Ronaldo collected his fifth Ballon d’Or award by telling France Football: “I’m the best player in history, in the good moments and the bad ones.
“I respect everyone’s preferences, but I’ve never seen anyone better than me. I have always thought that. No footballer can do the things I can. There’s no player more complete than me.
“I play well with both feet, I’m quick, powerful, good with the head, I score goals, I make assists. There are guys who prefer Neymar or (Lionel) Messi. But I tell you: there’s no-one more complete than me.
“No one has won as many individual trophies as me. And I’m not speaking just of the Ballon d’Or. That says something, doesn’t it? It’s not just a result of the work I do in the gym, like some people think. It’s the sum of many things.
“Legends like Floyd Mayweather and LeBron James don’t get to their perfect level by chance. Many factors coincide. To be at the top and to stay there, you have to have more talent than the others.”
It’s not as if Real Madrid already have a massively heated rivalry with Barcelona, but Ronaldo did his best to stoke the fires between the two sides when looking ahead to the next El Clasico after Los Blancos had claimed the Club World Cup in 2017.
“It would be nice and I would like Barcelona to give us the guard of honour,” Ronaldo said.
Unsurprisingly, Barcelona did not acquiesce, and nor did Real Madrid a year later when they arrived at the Nou Camp and refused to honour the unbeaten La Liga champions.
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