2014 Balon D’or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo has described himself and Barcelona attacker, Lionel Messi anomalies in football history considering the way they have both maintained the top of world football for such a long time.
The 29-year-old Real Madrid wing man picked up the third Ballon d’Or trophy of his football career on Monday, January 12, 2014 with a defeating margin over the four-time winner, Messi and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
Speaking with Fifa.com on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 Ronaldo admitted that he and Messi remains the two players to have maintained their top performance for so long, as he believes that their achievement is hinged to ceaseless hard work.
“To be honest, no, I didn’t think I’d be at the top of world football for so many years,” he told Fifa.com. “It all happened so fast. In my opinion, the hardest thing is maintaining that level.
“I’m proud to have been in the World XI for eight consecutive years and always vying to be among the best three, as it’s something very few people manage to do. I think just Messi and I have done it, not many more anyway.
“I don’t think anyone else has done it eight years in a row, which is why it’s immensely satisfying. Year after year I keep working hard with my club and national team so that I continue to stand out. This recognition is an indication that things are going well and that I’m enjoying an exceptional career.”
Ronaldo also stated that he is confident he will be named among the football legends once he retires from football, stating his uncertainty whether his mind and body would have another decade to perform as expected.
“In truth, I don’t think about my legacy, I know I’ll have a place in the history of the game because of what I’m doing and winning, whether at an individual or team level.
” know I’ll have a nice page devoted to me between some of the all-time greats, and that makes me happy. I’m 29 now but I feel great, like I’m still 25! I think I can play on for another five, six or seven years at a high level. Beyond that, we’ll have to see.
“It’s conceivable I play until I’m 40 years old but, as I said before, it’s a case of seeing how I feel year after year, how motivated I am and if I’m still useful to my team like in the past.
“As for going on until 40… If I want to play until then, I will, though I might be dragging myself around by then! But while I’m playing to an acceptable standard – acceptable to me, that is, and at a level my fans and club deserve – then I want to continue. Honestly, though, it’s not something I’m thinking about yet,” he said.