Ronaldo: Going the right way
© AFP

Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the nominees for the 2007 FIFA World Player award, spoke to FIFA.com for an exclusive interview in Zurich on 17 December. The Portuguese attacking midfielder, who plays his club football for Manchester United, explained how proud he was to be one of the top three players in the world. He also revealed his ambitions for Portugal and talked of his admiration for Luis Figo. The full interview is available on video.

Cristiano, tell us how you feel at the moment.
I'm proud to be here, alongside two incredible players. It's great for me, I'm the happiest man in the world! I don't know whether I'm going to win but that really doesn't matter, I feel good because I'm one of the three nominees. 2007 went really well on a personal level, and me and my team-mates helped Manchester United to the Premier League title.

What was the defining moment for you in 2007?
When I won the title with Manchester United, no doubt about it, as it was a first for me. Lifting that trophy was an incredible feeling.

What do you think of the other two players who have been nominated?
Kaka and Lionel Messi are exceptional players. I'm delighted that I was chosen alongside them by the various international captains and coaches. It's a real honour.

What are you wishing for in 2008?
I'd like to have as good as year as I did in 2007, perhaps even better, who knows? I'm working hard, focusing on my goals, and I've got some great team-mates around me. I'm heading in the right direction, I've got off to a good start to the season, scored some important goals and the team is looking good both in the league and in the Champions League so how could I not be happy!

Will 2008 finally bePortugal's year?
Portugal has got some good players, good coaching staff and we're performing well right now, so yes, 2008 should be a good year. Having said that, we have a tough group at the Euro with Switzerland, Czech Republic and Turkey, but I think we stand a fair chance.

Luis Figo is the only person fromPortugalto be voted FIFA World Player of the Year. Tell us what he represents to you.
Figo really is an example for me. I played alongside him for Portugal and he is not only a great player but also a great man. It was a pleasure to play with him. He won the World Player of the Year title in 2001 and he fully deserved it after the season he'd had. That's what I'm going to try to do, year in, year out, to come back here to Zurich and win this trophy. Individual awards are important in a player's career.

What did you learn from playing alongside him at the 2006 FIFA World Cup?
I didn't just learn from him at the 2006 World Cup. Every year since I started playing football, I've been looking to progress. Each season I learn something new, I can feel it and it's a great sensation. I'm playing for a great club with great players and that's the best way to make progress - day in, day out.

You are now captain ofPortugal. How are you faring with this new-found responsibility?
I've always had a sense of responsibility, whether I've been captain or not. But I must say that I'm both pleased and proud to be Portugal captain, despite how young I am, because I know what it means. My job is still the same though. I need to do what I do best out on the pitch, and that's score goals and help my team win.