Football

Ronaldo reveals new maturity

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FIFPro world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo claims to have learned from his selfish ways and no longer tries to beat opponents just for the sake of it.

Five years after his arrival from Sporting Lisbon as a raw teenager, Ronaldo has been confirmed as the best player on the planet.

"I have always played the way I do. It is natural," he said. "If you want to be good, you have to practice, not just in training but games as well. That is my style of football."

He added: "But I am different now compared to five years ago. Then I was dribbling but not doing anything for the team.

"Now I have more experience and I feel more mature. I do things for the team. So, sometimes I dribble, sometimes I don't."

A host of awards are expected to come his way over the next few months, but the FIFPro prize is particularly significant because it is the first to recognise his extraordinary achievements last season when he scored 42 goals in Manchester United's charge to Premier League and Champions League glory.

Voted for by players from over 40 countries, it emphasises the widespread appeal of Ronaldo's extraordinary rise and sees him follow in the footsteps of past winners Ronaldinho and Kaka.

Few would argue against his current status but with the adulation comes attention and scrutiny.

It seems every move Ronaldo makes is analysed and dissected and the latest evidence being put forward that he wants to live in Spain came in a non-celebration of his goal against Celtic in the Champions League last week.

"People are always writing things about me. It is up to them," he said. "If I smile it is because I smile. If don't it is because I don't. All I want to do is play well and do my best."

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo

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