Cristiano Ronaldo received the prestigious MARCA Legend award for his successful career as a professional footballer, which has seen him attain global stardom.
The Portuguese was given the award by MARCA director Juan Ignacio Gallardo at the Teatro Reina Victoria in Madrid, a venue that was filled to capacity with numerous national and international press outlets, as well as fans who wanted to see their idol in the flesh.
“This trophy is going to be in a very nice place in my museum,” said an emotional Ronaldo.
“Madrid is special; I travel a lot but there are few cities like Madrid. Much of this award is derived from what I did at [Real] Madrid.
“It is a Spanish trophy and I am very honoured [to receive it]. Thank you to everyone who has helped me achieve it. It is a matter of pride to me. And I hope to return to Madrid soon.”
Cristiano Ronaldo’s comments:
Going after his sixth Ballon d’Or: “I hope I can win it. The main thing is that my career has continued to go well after Madrid. It isn’t easy leaving Madrid as I did, after nine years, at the age of 33… and it [2018/19] was a really good year for me because I won Serie A, the Coppa Italia, and the Nations League with Portugal. It’s one of the best seasons I’ve had, both individually and collectively.”
Manchester United and Real Madrid: “I miss both, but I was at Madrid for longer. My kids grew up here and I my partner [Georgina Rodríguez] is from here, so I miss Madrid.”
Most important trophy: “Every trophy is important, but maybe the European Championship is the most important one of my career. There’s something particularly special about it; I guess it’s the most special trophy that I’ve won in my career. It’s not the same as winning [silverware] with your club: the emotions are stronger and that makes it much more special winning something with your country.”
Winning the Champions League this season: “We’ll try to win the Champions League, but it’s very difficult because every club wants to win it. Only one can win it, and hopefully it’s Juve.”
The event, presented by the journalist Felipe del Campo, was also attended by Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes; his girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez; the president of Real Madrid, Florentino Perez; and the president of Unidad Editorial, Antonio Fernandez-Galiano Campos, among other notable individuals.
Ronaldo joins an exclusive list of athletes to have received this prize, following on from the likes of Rafa Nadal, Michael Jordan, Michael Phelps, Marc Marquez, Pau Gasol, Miguel Indurain, Usain Bolt and Roger Federer, as well as footballers such as Lionel Messi, Raul Gonzalez, Diego Maradona, Pele and Paolo Maldini.
With this MARCA Legend award, Ronaldo has further added to his already impressive trophy collection, having previously won five Champions Leagues, four Club World Cups, three European Super Cups, three Premier League titles, two LaLiga Santander titles, one Scudetto, one European Championship and one League of Nations, among others.
The top scorer in the history of the Champions League (127 goals), Real Madrid (451 goals) and Portugal (88 goals) has left his mark on every club he has played for, in addition to his country, and there is no denying that the 34-year-old is one of the greatest players of all time.