Ronaldo: My season scores a ten
Cristiano Ronaldo has given his Real Madrid team a nine out of ten for the season just gone - and himself a ten. Madrid ended Barcelona's three-year reign as Spanish champions with a stunning campaign that saw them become the first La Liga side to reach 100 points while their tally of 121 goals was also a record.
However, Jose Mourinho's men fell short in their bid to win the UEFA Champions League after being knocked out by Bayern Munich in the semi-finals, while the defence of their Copa del Rey title was ended by Barcelona at the quarter-final stage, and those disappointments are the reason why Ronaldo cannot rate it as the perfect season for Madrid.
The Portugal international does not feel he could have done much more on an individual level, though, during a remarkable season which saw him score 46 goals in just 38 league matches, and 62 in all competitions for Madrid. He said in AS: "I would give my season a ten on an individual level and collectively a nine, because we wanted to win more titles, the Champions League for example."
Madrid's bid for a record tenth European Cup has been at the very top of the club's wish-list for a number of years now, but Ronaldo believes the wait will soon be over. "We've been close this year, but we need to stay calm. The tenth will arrive in the next season or two. We know that everyone is focused on winning the Champions League. You notice it in the street, but we need to stay calm."
Ronaldo's season means he is once again likely to be battling Barcelona star Lionel Messi to win the FIFA Ballon d'Or later this year. Messi, who pipped Ronaldo to the European Golden Shoe and the Pichichi award as the Spanish top flight's leading goalscorer with an astonishing 50 league goals this season, is the two-time reigning Ballon d'Or winner having beaten his Portuguese counterpart to the award last year.
Asked if he felt he deserved the crown this year, as has been suggested by his coach Mourinho, Ronaldo said: "I'm not the one who judges who deserves to win the Ballon d'Or, but I think I've had a fantastic season.
"I've won the most difficult league in the world. I agree with what Mourinho said, but what I want now is have a great European Championships, because that could also help me in the Ballon d'Or, although honestly it's not a matter that concerns me much," the Portugal international captain said. "I'm happy with the season that I've had, but I'm already only thinking of helping my country now."
In the 2010/11 campaign Ronaldo won the European Golden Shoe with 40 goals and, remarkably, he managed to top that tally last term. Asked if he could do the same next season, Ronaldo said: "Some journalist asked me the same a year ago. My aim is to improve every year.
"To score 46 league goals is going to be very difficult, but you never know. Anything can happen. I always believes in myself and in improving. The 100 points that Madrid got this season, for example, were unthinkable, and look at what happened...you never know."