Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo knows he ‘will go down in football history…whether people like it or not.’
Ronaldo has spoken to UEFA’s official website about his goal-scoring exploits, including being the all-time leading scorer in the Champions League and says he ‘always felt he was a special player.’
It's a privilege to know that I'm the leading goal-scorer of all time in the Champions League. Obviously I feel very happy at having achieved that. It's a special competition and a competition that Real Madrid love,” he said.
“I've been lucky enough to win it twice and obviously I want to win it more – hopefully again this year. Fans love the Champions League and obviously I also love it, because it's a special competition.
“To be honest, I never looked at any player and wanted to be like them; some great players who have passed through Sporting but I was always thinking further ahead. I was already thinking about the national team. I felt that playing for a big club was difficult but I was going to be able to do it, but playing for the national team is always more difficult.
“And then things happened very quickly. I signed for Manchester United, and after some time I was in the national team. My big reference points were Fernando Couto, Rui Costa and Luís Figo, because they were the biggest names in Portuguese football.
“I always felt that I was a special player, ever since I was starting out at Sporting. I felt that sooner or later I would be a top-level professional. I never thought it would come so fast, but I was preparing myself because, like I said, the talent was there.
“I've always worked hard, believed in my potential – in the academy at Sporting, at Manchester United and at Real Madrid as well – and I've developed more and more as a player, as a person, as a human being. I've enjoyed my work.
“I don't doubt that I will go down in footballing history. Whether people like it or not, the numbers speak for themselves. I will be up there with the rest. Some like it more, some like it less, but I have no doubt that I'm already in the history of football.”