Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has hit out at the press for inventing rumours about his personal life.
The three-time Ballon d’Or winner, who pledged not to speak to journalists for the remainder of the season back in March, called for the press to ‘leave him alone’ following reports about his alleged off-field activities.
The Spanish press have linked Ronaldo with several women since his high-profile break-up with Irina Shayk, who took another swipe at the Portugal captain this week, while Playboy model Daniella Chavez claims she slept with the 30-year-old while he was already in a relationship.
Article continues below
All the nonsense, clearly, has got to Ronaldo, who has taken the unusual step of recording a one-minute video and posting it directly to his Twitter account, which is followed by almost 36 million people across the planet.
Ronaldo obviously wanted to make a statement telling the press to back off - but the video could, instead, merely act as a red rag to a bull.
Article continues below
Initially addressing the video to his supporters, Ronaldo says: "Hey fans, this message is for you. Thank you very much for your support. This year was tough but you were always there.
“I’m here relaxing, my kid is behind me in the pool and it came to my mind to do this video, I don't know why, don't ask me why, you know I never speak to the press.”
Then getting on to the real reason why he chose to record the video, Ronaldo adds: “I never speak about my private life, but I want to use this opportunity to say that in the last couple weeks, the press tried to say trash about me, that I have a new girlfriend, every day a new girlfriend, that I did this and I did that - just leave me alone, let me do my work properly like I do every year.
“Don't try to damage my image because it's not gonna happen.
“So, this message is for [the fans] - we stick together, day by day, month by month, year by year. Thank you guys."
Ronaldo disappointed with lack of silverware
Ronaldo may have ended the season with the Pichichi - the award handed to the top scorer in Spain’s La Liga - but he failed to finish the season with one of the major trophies.
With Barcelona on the verge of completing a remarkable treble - provided they defeat Juventus in Saturday’s Champions League final - Ronaldo knows there’s every chance that Lionel Messi will win the 2015 Ballon d’Or.
It’s no secret that Ronaldo wants to finish his career as the greatest footballer of all time, but that will not happen unless he at least equals the number of Ballon d’Or awards won by Messi.
Messi already has one more than Ronaldo and, crucially, is two-and-a-half-years younger than the Real Madrid goal machine, so the odds of the latter being universally regarded as the greatest of all time appear extremely slim at this point in time.
What do you make of Cristiano Ronaldo’s video? Is he right to hit out at the press? Have your say in the comments below!