Cristiano Ronaldo has declared that helping Real Madrid turn around their season is more important than his own contract situation.
The Portuguese has been rumoured in recent months as in negotiations with Madrid over a new contract, with the club’s reputed stalling in autumn the reason for the player’s public declaration that he was ‘unhappy’.
However, in marking Los Blancos’ change in media policy by becoming the second player in as many days to address the Press, after Iker Casillas yesterday, the Portuguese has looked to affirm his commitment.
“I feel great, I’m convinced that this year will be better than last year. I feel good and I hope to give my best, as always, and to be better than last year,” he told reporters today.
“My contract renewal? That issue has already been discussed. No more talk of my renewal. It’s not the most important thing. The important thing is to win the next matches.
“We are fighting for the League, the Cup and the Champions League, so it is not important. The important thing is staying together.”
Madrid are currently 16 points behind Barcelona in the title race.
“It is difficult when a top team is not at their best. There is greater tension and the players also suffer with that.
“We are left very affected, but these are situations that like in life are in football, they will pass with friendship and solidarity. Nothing in life is easy. We must try to change this. It will be a year of ambition and we will improve a lot.
“Clearly the League is complicated. Primarily, we should not have lost the points that we have.
“I do know why we have not been good, but we have been affected. The opponents have won and sometimes we have not but that happens in football and we have to be prepared to respond to it.
“We are not in our best situation but we have to face up to it. We are training so as to progress and certainly good things will come.”
Madrid resume League activity this weekend at home to Real Sociedad.
“We want to start the year perfectly, very well. We know we are not on a good run and that we have to start now with greater form. We are at home, we are favourites and we want to start well.”
The striker was asked of his emotions in seeing Madrid paired with former club Manchester United in the Last 16 of the Champions League.
“I have great feelings of friendship, much love. It is a team that means a lot to me in my career. They know me well, I have many friends there, people in my heart.
“But now I defend the colours of Real Madrid. The feeling is a little sad, but I want to win and to score, to do my best.”
Ronaldo’s teammate Pepe drew attention last week in declaring that the club’s Portuguese players have received adverse treatment.
“I understand Pepe and he is my friend. I understand. Pepe does not refer to Madrid, or the club. not here, but outside. When we play away, I feel that and Pepe also does. The atmosphere is heavier.
“We feel a little down for the atmosphere here inside the club but the players do not look at nationalities. Here at Madrid’s stadium, the fans, the dressing room and the club atmosphere is phenomenal and we are all treated equally. It shows the greatness of Real Madrid.”
The 27-year-old was asked whether he believed Jose Mourinho would still be Coach at the end of the season.
“I do not know. It depends on his situation and the club. I would love him to stay because he is the right Coach. A top manager for a top club. I think he is going to stay, but everyone decides their own future.”
And Ronaldo was also asked for his view on Casillas’ demotion to the bench for December’s defeat at Malaga.
“For me, in football nothing is surprising. I see him as very well, just as Adan and Jesus are. His substitutions is a technical decision that we must respect.
“Here the boss is the Coach and he looks for the improvement of the group. We must respect the Coach’s decisions.”