Cristiano Ronaldo has proved that no matter the league he finds himself, he would continue to deliver quality football, create history and set new standards. Over the years, from the English Premier League, to the Spanish La Liga and now in Italian Serie A, Ronaldo has shown that it would be difficult for anybody to replace him in world football.
In Portugal where he comes from, Ronaldo has also shown leadership to the national team. This time around, the unstoppable striker has continued to create history as he goes having been awarded his 10th Portuguese Player of the Year award. The 34-year-old has dominated his country’s annual awards night since 2007 and has taken the top gong each year since then – bar exceptions in 2010 and 2014 when Simao and Pepe respectively won the awards.
Ronaldo, fresh from leading Juventus to an eighth straight Serie A title last season, beat off competition from Atletico Madrid starlet Joao Felix, Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva, Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes and Wolves’ Ruben Neves. The glamorous awards evening took place at the Carlos Lopes Pavilion in Lisbon where Ronaldo, reflecting on a tough year, paid homage to his early days at Sporting Lisbon in his speech.
‘This world is so fast, with the social media, the press, it’s been wild,’ Ronaldo said.
‘It’s been an extremely complicated year on a personal level. Don’t let anyone pull you down. ‘I can’t help but mention that Sporting deserves a little prize. Next time.’ Benfica were the big winners of the evening having been awarded the men’s and women’s Team of the Year awards. Bruno Lage, Benfica boss, was also recognised with the Manager of the Year award.
Ronaldo, having missed on UEFA’s Player of the Year award at the expense of Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, is looking to win FIFA’s The Best award after being named among the nominees. The Portuguese will again contest for the game’s biggest individual honour with Van Dijk and Barcelona star Lionel Messi. The winner will be announced on September 23 at a ceremony in Milan.