Cristiano Ronaldo always knew he would be the world number one - he just never expected it to be so soon.
The Manchester United winger got his hands on the first of what is expected to be a host of major player-of-the-year accolades when he collected the FIFPro award from Sir Alex Ferguson on Monday.
"I did think that maybe I would become the best player in the world one day." he said. "But I am still young and if I am being honest, I did not think I would reach this level so quickly."
The Portugal star added: "I always believed in my talent, I am an ambitious player. I try to improve every season, not because I have to prove myself to anyone, just because I want to be the best I can be."
With the honour comes attention and scrutiny that previous winners Ronaldinho and Kaka had to deal with.
Now it is Ronaldo's turn, a fact not made any easier by the summer transfer saga involving Real Madrid.
It means any sign of unrest is being seized upon, which is why his non-celebration against West Brom last week was such big news.
"People are always writing things about me. It is up to them," he said.
"If I smile, it is because I smile. If I don't, it is because I don't. All I want to do is play well and do my best."
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