Ronaldo reveals thirst for glory
Cristiano Ronaldo has promised Real Madrid fans his thirst for silverware remains unquenched, despite his phenomenally successful stint with Manchester United. During his six years at Old Trafford, the Portuguese won a plethora of team and individual awards, including three Premier League titles, the UEFA Champions League, the FA Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Last year alone he was named FIFA World Player of the Year and seized the European Golden Shoe as the continent's top scorer. It is a hugely impressive list of honours, but the 24-year-old has insisted he wants to do even better at Real following his world-record £80m transfer to the Spanish giants.
"I'm still hungry (for titles) and for me it's as if I haven't won anything," Ronaldo told Spanish sports daily AS. "This is a different stage in my life and my career and I have the same ambition as when I started. I'm starting from zero and I want to win more titles at Madrid than I did at Manchester United.
"After Manchester there are few places better to be a great footballer. That's why I've taken the decision to come here, where they are used to fighting to win everything. It's what I've always liked, to play and win titles."
Ronaldo this week became the third new arrival to be presented by Real since Florentino Perez returned to the club presidency at the start of June, following in the footsteps of Kaka and Spain defender Raul Albiol. Tonight it will be Karim Benzema's turn as the Frenchman completes his move from Lyon, a signing that will take Madrid's spending close to the £200m mark, with more new faces still in the pipeline.
Los Merengues are undoubtedly going to be fielding a star-studded side next season, and should be back fighting for honours following a disappointing 2008/09 campaign in which they ended up empty-handed as arch-rivals Barcelona walked off with the treble.
However, Ronaldo warned against setting expectations too high too soon. "I like that our fans are ambitious and I'm sure that we can win the titles that will get Madrid back to the top in both Spanish and European football. We must keep our feet on the ground, though, and not think that we can win everything in one go," he said.
"Of course the objective is to win the Champions League, league and cup, but if we don't take it step by step then we will be making a mistake. We have to create a good and compact team. Then everything will be easier."
Ronaldo could have had another winners medal in his United collection but for Barcelona. The Red Devils were the reigning European champions heading into this season's final against Pep Guardiola's side in Rome, but despite a promising start in which the Portugal international featured heavily, the English giants ended up relinquishing their crown in a 2-0 defeat.
When asked whether he is now out for revenge against the Catalan club, Ronaldo said: "I don't like this word, but it's true that what was in my head that night was to win a second successive Champions League and it hurt to lose. I didn't even think if that was my last game with Manchester or not. That night I wasn't thinking about the future. I only wanted to beat them.
"(Now) I want this title with Madrid and to win it in this stadium would be great. To win the Champions League in the Bernabeu would be very special and I have a feeling that we can do it," added Ronaldo, referring to next year's continental decider, which be staged at Real's ground.