Ronaldo expects extraordinary success for Real Madrid in upcoming season

Portuguese superstar insists he's recovered from a knee injury that bothered him at the World Cup

by Jason Coskrey

Staff Writer

Cristiano Ronaldo says his injury problems are behind him. Now the Portuguese superstar intends to get back to the business of winning everything in sight with soccer superpower Real Madrid.

“We can have the opportunity to win five, six titles this year,” Ronaldo said during a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday. “It’s fantastic. I’m really focused. My injury is gone, I feel very good, so I want to start the league in good shape. I will try my best all season like I do every year. Try to be the best, try to help my team, try to score goals and try to win titles. This is my goal for every season.”

Ronaldo made his remarks at the “MTG x Cristiano Ronaldo Athletic Beauty Project” where the 29-year-old was unveiled as a new spokesman for the Nagoya-based company, which specializes in beauty and wellness products.

Ronaldo’s own wellness was in question during the 2014 World Cup. He suffered from patellar tendonitis in his left knee, and at one time it was thought he wouldn’t be able to participate.

Ronaldo ended up playing in all three of Portugal’s matches in Brazil, scoring one goal and assisting on another. Portugal was eliminated in the group stage.

Despite not making a serious run at soccer’s top prize, Ronaldo still has a long list of accomplishments to fall back on, including winning the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards in 2008 as well as the Champions League with both Manchester United (2007-08) and Real Madrid (2013-14).

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to play, in my opinion, for the best clubs in the world, which are Manchester and now the biggest club in the world, Real Madrid,” he said. “So it’s fantastic for me to be happy with all the achievements and what I’ve done in my career. I hope to play more, six, seven years.”

Ronaldo didn’t elaborate on how much longer he’ll play, but said his goals remain the same.

“To play in Real Madrid, we always have the pressure,” Ronaldo said. “Because it’s the most important club in the world, so the attention is always for Real Madrid. So I need to prepare myself to always be the best. So I try to be the best all the time. So I’m training hard. I dedicate myself 100 percent. I want to continue like that until I finish my career.”

Ronaldo was in Japan for only the second time. His first visit came when he helped Manchester United win the 2008 Club World Cup in Yokohama.

“I think Japan is a fantastic country, fantastic people,” he said. “I had the opportunity to be here before and I know the fans here. They are amazing.”

In his new role with MTG, Ronaldo will be the face for products under the ReFa ACTIVE and FACIAL FITNESS PAO brands in Asia.

“We thought Cristiano Ronaldo was the only person who can represent our product,” MTG President and CEO Tsuyoshi Matsushita said.

Matsushita joked that some didn’t believe MTG could get Ronaldo to show up. Ronaldo arrived as advertised, dressed in a black suit, skinny black tie, and white dress shirt. His hair was teased as usual and there were large, glittering diamond earrings in both ears.

Ronaldo exchanged in playful banter with three fans who were selected to sit on stage and ask him questions. He even had an impromptu turn as a translator when a young Japanese boy named Ryota (who didn’t give a surname), asked his question in Portuguese, reading off notes he’d prepared.

Ronaldo praised the boy’s language skills and translated the question in English to the staff, who relayed question and answer in Japanese.

The boy asked Ronaldo how he could become a soccer superstar.

“I always say the same thing,” Ronaldo began, “if your dream is to be a football professional, of course we have to follow our dreams. Many people think that it’s easy to be a professional footballer. I’m always saying if you believe, and if you’re training, and if you believe in your capacities, you are going to have opportunities in life to show off those talents.

“I know you need all the stuff, you need luck, you need opportunities. But I think everyone in their life has an opportunity.

“Especially for him. I remember I started very young in my career. I was 11 years old, and I followed my dream. My family helped me, my family always gave me good opportunities and (at) 16, 17 I was a football professional and I had more opportunities. My big message for this boy is: Believe in your capacities, work hard, dedicate yourself 100 percent and dream. Believe all the time. Believe that this is going to be possible.”

Watch our video report of the press conference from here