Cristiano Ronaldo thought by the age of 35 he would be a “fisherman in Madeira” and remains convinced of Champions League glory with Juventus.
The Portugal superstar celebrated his birthday on Wednesday and reflected on a glittering career during which he has become acknowledged as one of the all-time greats.
Ronaldo has won top-flight titles in England, Spain and Italy, the Champions League with Manchester United and Real Madrid, celebrated European Championship and Nations League glory with his country, and is also a five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
“At 35? I thought I was going to be a fisherman in Madeira,” he said to Canal 11.
“This never came into my mind. I wanted to be a professional footballer, but I didn’t think I was going to win everything I’ve won.”
Ronaldo first lifted the Champions League with the Red Devils in the 2007-08 campaign and won four in the space of five seasons with Madrid between 2013-14 and 2017-18.
His first campaign with Juve ended with domestic success in Serie A but a quarter-final defeat to Ajax in Europe’s premier competition means Ronaldo’s desire for continental success burns as strong as ever.
“To play at Juventus gives me the chance to win it again,” he added.
“We know it’s difficult, it depends on many factors, but it’s possible because we have a good team.
“We must take one step at a time going forward.”
The Juve star was asked if he has a favourite goal among the incredible number he has scored for club and country over the years. While he struggled to pick out the best, he says the famous overhead kick against his current team in the Champions League quarter-finals in 2018 was the toughest to pull off.
“It’s not easy to pick one [to be the best], there are many and it’s difficult,” he added. “There bicycle kick was certainly the most difficult of them all.”
Ronaldo has netted 19 times in as many Serie A appearances this season, helping the Turin side to a three-point lead over nearest challengers Inter.
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