Cristiano Ronaldo has reflected in a lengthy interview published today of how he deals with criticism he receives on and off the football pitch.
The Real Madrid star sits in the top 10 of his club’s all-time top goalscorers, but has proven divisive amongst opposition fans for his demeanour sometimes.
“People see in me what they want, I just try to be myself,” reflected the 28-year-old in an in-depth interview given to the latest edition of the Spanish version of GQ magazine.
“Sometimes my career requires me to build a wall between myself and others, but my character has not changed. I’m still the same as ever.
“Do I read the papers? I’m not the type of person that when I do things wrong I look for the reviews in the newspapers and on the television. But criticism is a part of our business, we have to live with it.
“What hurts the most is the criticism for matters that are off the field. I do not mind when it comes to my game, because again I am the first to realise when I have made a mistake.
“Do I review my games? Not all of them, but most of them. I find it helpful to review my game to recognise where I could have done better.
“Would winning things stop the bad Press? The trophies are important, but so is the rest.
“Real Madrid is the biggest club in the world, people always expect us to be perfect. I think there is always room for improvement.”
Ronaldo was asked how he takes defeat in big games.
“If we’re talking after a big game, a semi-final or final of a major tournament, obviously I do not sleep well after losing.
“And not just the same night either - even for the next two or three. But losing is one of the drawbacks of our profession. Even at Real Madrid. It shouldn’t happen, but it does.”
Reports have on and off in the past few years spoken of a divided Real Madrid dressing room, with a split between the Portuguese and Spanish-speaking players.
“I have a lot of friends at Real Madrid and not just my compatriots.
“Obviously at the beginning I mingled with the likes of Pepe and Kaka because we had a common language, but that does not mean there is a ‘Portuguese clan’.”
Ronaldo was asked what his intentions are after his playing career.
“Football is my life. I would like to remain involved in this business even when I retire from playing.
“But for now, I am just concentrating on the years I have left as a player. Time will tell what happens after that.”