Archived interview.. Ronaldo
At the start of the 2005/2006 season, Cristiano Ronaldo spoke to United Review ahead of the game with Aston Villa.
The Portuguese star may be being linked with £200million moves and continues to score goals for fun in 2012 but he still had much to prove at that early stage of his career and so did United, with champions Chelsea the team to catch in the Barclays Premier League. Check out some of his thoughts from the exclusive interview.
How confident is the team going into the new season?
We’re all very confident and hoping to do much better than last season. We worked very hard during pre-season and I thought, as a team, we played some good matches in difficult conditions during our tour of Asia. Our main objective is to win the Premiership back but I also believe we have a good chance of doing well in the Champions League.
Chelsea have raised the bar on and off the field: will that make things more difficult?
We know it’s not going to be easy but it’s important that we don’t worry about other teams; we must just concentrate on ourselves. We’re determined to improve on last season and I’m sure we will. We have a great squad of players and I’m confident we have the ability to challenge Chelsea. Just look at the players we have.
Ji-sung Park’s arrival increases competition for a midfield spot. Is that a challenge you relish?
Competition for a places can only be a good thing for the team. We already had some great midfielders, and have another now Park has arrived – I’m sure he’s going to do very well. Of course, we all want to play every game but the most important thing is that the team is winning. That’s something every player here believes.
When the manager talks about the club’s future being in the hands of the young players, he always refers to you and Wayne Rooney. Does that give you a lot of confidence?
The most important thing for me is to concentrate on the present but, of course, it’s great to hear the manager say things like that about young players. We have a very talented group of youngsters and I believe we can only improve as a group as every season goes by. I don’t feel any additional pressure when I hear the manager talk about me like that – I feel the same as I did when I arrived. All I can do is continue to work hard and try to give the best that I can.
What areas of your game do you feel you improved on last season?
There wasn’t anything specific – I just tried to work hard on every aspect. I didn’t just concentrate on the technical side of my play because I wanted to improve everything in general from my first season. I’ll be aiming to do the same again this season.
Have you any specific aims for this season?
The most important thing for me is to keep improving. I feel really good and I’ve been looking forward to the start of the season all summer. I’m hoping to play even better than last season and I’m confident I can help the team achieve success.
You were clearly very upset after the FA Cup final defeat against Arsenal. Has that experience made you even hungrier to win things?
Yes, I was very disappointed because I felt we were the better team on the day and deserved to win. Nonetheless, the experience has made me even more determined to try and ensure we win a trophy this time around.
You made a bet with Sir Alex that you’d score 10 goals last season but you missed out by one. Will you be having another bet this year?
I was very disappointed to lose my bet with the boss but we will be having another bet this season and I know I’m going to win this time! Scoring goals is a great feeling but the most important thing to me is that the team is successful – it doesn’t matter who scores the goals as long as we are winning.
You seem pretty close to signing a new contract. Are you enjoying life at Old Trafford?
I’m very happy in Manchester and I just hope I can help the team achieve even more success in the future. I’m confident that I can.