Madrid, May 3 (IANS) Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo said he has no doubt he will be remembered as one of the best footballers of all time.
Ronaldo is the leading goal scorer for Real and is just seven strikes away from 100 goals in the Champions League.
“I don’t doubt that I will go down in footballing history,” the 31-year-old was quoted as saying by UEFA.com on Tuesday.
“Whether people like it or not, the numbers speak for themselves. I will be up there with the rest. Some like it more, some like it less, but I have no doubt that I’m already in the history of football.”
The three-time World Footballer of the Year said he had faith in himself as a youngster but the speed at which he attained stardom startled him a bit.
“I always felt that I was a special player, ever since I was starting out at Sporting,” he said.
“I felt that sooner or later I would be a top-level professional. I never thought it would come so fast, but I was preparing myself because, like I said, the talent was there.
“I’ve always worked hard, believed in my potential — in the academy at Sporting, at Manchester United and at Real Madrid as well – and I’ve developed more and more as a player, as a person, as a human being. I’ve enjoyed my work,” he added.
The Portuguese international said the likes of Fernando Couto, Rui Costa and Luis Figo were the ones he looked upto in his career but added that he never had any idol whom he would emulate.
“To be honest, I never looked at any player and wanted to be like them; some great players who have passed through Sporting but I was always thinking further ahead.
“I was already thinking about the national team. I felt that playing for a big club was difficult but I was going to be able to do it, but playing for the national team is always more difficult. And then things happened very quickly,” he added.
“I signed for Manchester United, and after some time I was in the national team. My big reference points were Fernando Couto, Rui Costa and Luis Figo, because they were the biggest names in Portuguese football.”