Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has hit out at his critics saying only jealousy could be the reason for hating on his success, after he won the UEFA Champions League title on Saturday, making him the first Portuguese in history to do so, once with Manchester United and then twice with Real Madrid.
Real Madrid paraded the trophy in front of 80,000 supporters at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday evening but Ronaldo’s being criticized in some quarters after he had a largely anonymous 120 minutes during the final against Atletico, but scored the last decisive penalty after Diego Godin missed his.
Ronaldo said his home nation, Portugal, would feel proud and happy of his club success as he is ‘the only Portuguese to win the Champions League three times’ but also said only the jealous ones won’t be happy over his success.
‘Only the jealous don’t feel that (happiness),’ ‘But I don’t care about that. I always keep the people who love me. So this Champions League is for them, the guys who support me all the time, my fans in Portugal and around the world.’
‘This season I was the No 1 in the team, again, for most minutes. I have more than 4,000. That means a lot to me. It means I am still good, I still feel good physically, mentally. I was the top scorer in this competition again (with 16 goals).
‘If you ask me if I feel tired now, of course, I have a lot of minutes in the legs. But I am still there, I am always there. I showed the team I am there for the good moments and bad moments. This is what makes me feel proud.
‘My performance (in the final) is maybe not the best one but who played unbelievable? No one. So it’s tough, it’s the end of the season, you don’t have power in the legs that you have in the beginning of the season, but I did my best. I ran and we won. That is the most important. To win my third Champions League is unbelievable.’
Asked if he still has personal goals, he replied:
‘It is what it is, six years when I’m scoring more than 50 goals, but I am asking more. I am always in the top level. I just want to maintain. I still feel fresh and I want to carry on like that. I love to play for Real Madrid. I want to carry on.’
‘As you see in the pitch everybody was tired and felt cramp in the legs. And it was very hot.
‘The penalties are always a lottery, you never know what is going to happen. But we showed we are the more experienced team.’ Ronaldo missed from the spot when Manchester United beat Chelsea on penalties in 2008 but had no doubts about stepping up again.
‘To be honest I was confident I would score,’ he said. ‘I saw (Zinedine) Zidane before the penalties and told him to put me as the last taker because I feel I am going to score the winning goal. This is what happened.’