Cristiano Ronaldo: I am not the humblest person - but I like people hating me
Published 31/10/2015 | 11:54
Cristiano Ronaldo says he thrives on being hated by opposition fans - and says being booed simply lifts him to new heights.
The Real Madrid and Portugal forward has been a divisive figure during his glittering career, which has seen him win the Fifa Ballon d'Or twice and claim two Champions League titles.
Set against that is a legion of critics, who accuse of him of selfishness on the field and self-absorption off it.
In an interview with The Times, Ronaldo admits that he could be accused of arrogance, but says that he "needs the enemy" to help maintain his high standards.
He said: "I am not the humblest person in the world, I admit that. I am not fake. But I like to learn.
"I don't mind people hating me, because it pushes me. When I go to play away they are always against me, but it's good.
"You have to see the good things from the haters. I need the enemy. It is part of the business. They start screaming when I touch the ball. It had started already when I was 18 or 19. It is not a problem for me. It is a motivation."
Ronaldo has also revealed his gratitude to his former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson for urging him to visit his father as he lay dying in a London hospital.
Ronaldo's father, José Dinis Aveiro, was just 52 when he succumbed to liver disease brought on by alcoholism in 2005.
Ronaldo said: "When my daddy was dying, he was in a hospital in London, and it was not good. I said to [Sir Alex] Ferguson, 'Coach, I want to go. It was a crucial moment of the season.
"But Ferguson said: 'Football doesn't mean anythnig compared to your dad. I f you want to go, go. I will always appreciate that."
Ronaldo's future is back in the spotlight after a flurry of rumours linking him with a summer move away from the Bernabeu.
Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague has claimed that there is a "strategy" to take the 30-year-old to Paris Saint-Germain, but that a return to Manchester United could not be ruled out.
“Next he’s leaving Real Madrid,” Balague told talkSPORT. “The strategy is in place from his people to leave this summer, if the money is there and Paris Saint-Germain are willing to pay it and Real Madrid feel it is the right time to let him go.
“He idolises Manchester United. The fans, the atmosphere and the club, but the club is in a different place now.
“But why would they spend €125million, plus playing him 20-odd million per year, why would they do that at this stage"