Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed the difficulty he faces in leading a normal life.
The Real Madrid winger claimed the prestigious prize earlier this month, having scored 63 goals during 2013, but has opened up about a less appealing side to global stardom – one he hopes to shake off upon his retirement.
“It’s not easy to lead a normal life, although I’m used to it,” he told France Football. “When I finish my career, I hope everything is quieter and you can enjoy a little more. Now it is not easy.
“I try to avoid public places and go to more quiet places, to restaurants with a hidden table. I’m not going to hotels with five hundred rooms, but at discrete locations. I will try to enjoy later, when another Cristiano is in my place.”
The Portugal captain was clearly emotional upon learning he had won the Ballon d’Or and acknowledges his tears may have taken some by surprise.
“It was a time of great excitement, especially when my son came to my happy arms,” he continued. “It overflowed my excitement and I began to cry. And when I saw the tears of my family, I cried even more.
“They were honest, real tears. Frankly, I did not expect it and at that moment I felt very happy.
“For people who do not know me, it must have been a big surprise because I always look serious on the pitch. For those who share life with me, they know that I am a natural and spontaneous person.”
The former Manchester United attacker feels a professional attitude has been a major contributing factor in his success, citing the influence of players such as Ryan Giggs and Raul.
“I have always considered myself a professional man,” he continued. “It’s my culture.
“I’ve always learned a lot from others – Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs at United, Raul and Michel Salgado in Madrid, and Figo, Rui Costa, Fernando Couto and Deco in the national team.
“Being professional is a good 70% of the success of a player.”