In: Premier League

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In his own words

When I was 7 years old…

Ronaldo says: “My father was the kitman for CF Andorinha — and he kept encouraging me to go and play for the youth team. The first day, there were a lot of rules that I didn’t understand, but I loved it."

"I got addicted to the feeling of winning!”

Football gave me everything…

Ronaldo says: “But it also took me far away from home before I was really ready. When I was 11 years old, I moved from the island to the academy at Sporting Lisbon, and it was the most difficult time in my life!”

I decided that I was going to work harder than everybody…

Ronaldo says: “I was going to train like I could be the best in the world. I don’t know where this feeling came from. It’s like a hunger that never goes away. When you lose, it’s like you’re starving."

"When you win, it’s still like you’re starving!”

My mother passed out a few times…

Ronaldo says: “When I started playing professionally at 17, my mother could barely watch because of the stress. She would come to watch me play at the old Estádio José Alvalade, and she got so nervous during big games!”

I started dreaming bigger and bigger…

Ronaldo says: “When I became a player for Manchester, it was a proud moment for me. I remember when I won my first Champions League at Manchester, it was an overwhelming feeling. Same thing with my first Ballon d’Or."

"But my dreams kept getting bigger!”

I had always admired Madrid…

Ronaldo says: “I wanted a new challenge. I wanted to win trophies at Madrid, and break all the records, and become a club legend. At Madrid, if you don’t win everything, other people consider it a failure. This is the expectation of greatness!”

This is a new chapter in my life…

Ronaldo says: “After 400 matches with Madrid, winning is still my ultimate ambition. I think I was born like that. I had a special message engraved on my new Mercurial boots. It’s right on the heel. It says, “El sueño del niño.” The dream of the child!”

Cristiano Ronaldo was speaking to The Players’ Tribune. Visit for more.

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