“I’m a better person now”: Ronaldo rises from the crisis to a world record

“I’m a better person now”
Ronaldo rises from the crisis to a world record

Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo returns from the football diaspora to the big stage. He has big goals with the national team. He never really considered resigning, he speaks highly of the new coach. He needs it to set a world record.

Cristiano Ronaldo has rarely appeared so relaxed in recent months. Portugal’s football superstar entered the press room in Lisbon without haste, and the 38-year-old patiently and relaxedly answered the journalists’ questions. His message quickly became clear: I’m happy to be back with the national team. And I never really thought about retiring. “I’ll always come to the Seleção if I think they’re going to bet on me.” The new coach Roberto Martínez gave him that feeling.

Ever Martinez. Before the European Championship qualifier against Liechtenstein on Thursday (8:45 p.m.), the old star praised the Spaniard to the skies. “I feel a different energy, a new aura, a new chapter. I believe this change will be good for us and for Portugal,” said Ronaldo. “I feel something special and very positive.” He is sure that Portugal will be a team with “more offensive”. The attacker may have wanted to apply for a place in the starting XI right away.

“We’ll see if the coach picks me up”

Because if Ronaldo is used against the outsider, it would be his 197th international match and a world record. “Records are always positive things, they are my motivation,” said the superstar. “That would be an extraordinary record, the most capped player in history, that’s something special. We’ll see if the coach picks me up. I’m ready.”

After difficult months at Manchester United and a World Cup in Qatar that was disappointing for him personally, there were doubts about Ronaldo’s future in the national team. “It’s true, that was a not so good period in my career,” said Ronaldo. “But I’m grateful to have experienced some difficulties. Not only as a player but also as a person. I’m a better person now.”

Saudi Arabia soon the fifth strongest league in the world?

Martínez followed his striker’s words from the front row. Without changing his expression, the 49-year-old watched the performance of the captain – who, however, will no longer be the sole captain from now on. “Right now, the players with the most experience will be the captains of the Seleção. Cristiano Ronaldo, Rui Patrício and Bernardo Silva will be the captains,” said Martínez.

But even if he is no longer the sole leader, Ronaldo seemed highly motivated. He doesn’t see his move to Saudi club Al Nassr as a major step backwards. “It is clear that this is not the Premier League,” he said of the Saudi league. But: “They have good teams, it’s balanced, the Arab players are good, the foreign players bring quality. If they continue with this plan, in five or six years they may be the fourth or fifth strongest league in the world.”

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