Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or five times in his career, but he says he’s not consumed by adding to his tally.
Cristiano Ronaldo has 27 goals in all competitions this season and bounced back from some early-season struggles to score eight in Madrid’s last four games.
Ahead of winning football’s most prestigious individual award for the fifth time, Ronaldo said in November he wanted to win seven Ballons d’Or. But in an interview with Brazilian Youtube channel Desimpedidos, he said he would be content to finish with five.
“I never dreamt of winning five Ballons d’Or,” Ronaldo said. “But if my career had to end now, I would do so very happily. I’ve won everything. Of course I would be delighted to win one two or three more Ballons d’Or but if I don’t, I’ve already won five.
“It’s obviously my ambition and I still have the capacity to do so and the strength to fight to be the best in the world although others believe the contrary. I have confidence in myself. But it all depends on the trophies that we win this season, on how I finish [the campaign] and on the World Cup.”
Ronaldo also said that while he always considered himself “special,” he did not know he could become the best player in the world until he arrived at Manchester United in 2003.
“I knew I was a special child,” the 33-year-old said. “I was the same age as my teammates but I felt I was better than them because I did things they couldn’t do. But it’s very difficult to know when you are going to win a Ballon d’Or.
“I played at Sporting, I then went to Manchester and then I thought I’m playing with the best in the world, against the best in the world and even so I stand out so that is when I started to think I could win a Ballon d’Or for example. I knew it was possible from the age of 16, 17…”
Ronaldo has scored 434 goals in 425 games since moving to Madrid in 2009 and helping the club to 15 major trophies, including three of the last four Champions Leagues. He also served as captain when Portugal won Euro 2016.
Asked if he had any dreams left to accomplish, he said: “I honestly don’t. All that I dreamed of I have achieved in football. I always had as an aim to be a professional footballer and play for Portugal’s national team.
“At that point, there were some players that stood out in the national team like Rui Costa, Fernando Couto and Figo. I looked up to them and as my aim I want to play with them.
“I think I’ve gotten many beautiful things that I no longer have any more dreams to fulfill. If you asked me if I wanted to win again, of course, I would love to win for example the World Cup, it’s obvious. But if my career was to end, I would be very proud, happy. … I never thought my career would be so beautiful.”