As part of the launch of the Superfly II this week, Portugal and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo took part in a Q&A session in front of the specially invited audience.
Footy Boots had front row seats to hear what the Nike ambassador had to say.
Q. Does the boot help your game?
CR: Of course, I think the boot is fantastic and this boot especially is quite different. This one is more traced, more beautiful and I look forward to play with this boot.
Q. Do you work on the explosive speed in your game?
Yes, it’s one part of my game to do the dribbling quick and sharp and to be explosive and to take the player away. I think this is my game and of course you have to improve.
Q. What do you remember of your first pair of boots?
I don’t remember very well, but I think I was sixteen or fifteen and some guy – I think it was Ricardo – presented me with the boot and it made me crazy because I had never seen something similar. I’m seven years with Nike – no, more than seven – eight – with this boot. I don’t want to change because this is my favourite boot.
Q. Do you keep any of your old boots? Have any favourite?
No, no. I wear them until I break them!
Q. These boots have Nike Football + digital experience. Do you think that the fact you can go online and people can compete with you online and learn your tricks helps young players using those drills and tricks?
Of course. I think it’s part of football. You have to practice to be better, and learn to do everything correctly, at your best. I think you can learn something about that. I always try to be 100% whether I am in a game or in training, I try to be professional all of the time.
Q. which footballer from history or now would you like to have had some tips from, to have been able to copy?
I appreciate many players and love to watch many players, but I don’t copy anyone. I don’t like to copy because I think everyone has to be himself to do what he thinks is good, so I don’t copy anyone. There are many players I like to watch, but I don’t like copying anyone.
Q. I see you’re proud of wearing your jacket – let me ask you about Portugal – what does a captain have to do in terms of the team respecting you?
I think you just have to be yourself. I’m not going to change because I am captain of Portugal: I think the responsibility is the same whether you are captain or not. I try to be myself, I try to help my friends, my colleagues, and try to be natural. Everyone knows what you are going to do on a pitch, and I try to help in any way I can.
Q. Who has influenced you?
My Brother, my mum and sisters, my mum has always given me confidence and helps me a lot and made me what I am now and I’m really proud for that. All people have helped me a lot to be now what I am at the moment and I have to say thank you everyone for helping me to be what I am now and I really appreciate that.
Q. Can you name one piece of advice, something someone said to you that made you feel “yes – I’ll remember this”. Can you think of one?
No, you know, in the beginning, when you are 15 or 16 years old, you don’t really know if you will be a professional footballer. But I always believed in myself and when I started to train with the first team I started to believe that I would be a good player.
Q. Have you found many differences from being in the Premier League to being in La Liga now? Is it the referees, the media, how the fans treat you? The rival fans, especially?
It’s quite similar. I think in English Premier league it’s more quick, the players are more physical there. In Spain it’s more technical: the teams, the smaller teams try to play more than in England. It’s not so direct. I think both leagues are fantastic and quite difficult. I haven’t played a lot for Madrid but I do have a little bit of experience and to be honest I am enjoying it a lot, I want to play more games and to see what the differences are.
Q. How do the opposition fans treat you?
You know, this is not a problem for me. In England – not in every stadium but in most of them – they boo when I am playing away but the people have started to know / learn that when they boo for me that gives me more confidence and power. I have to say that if in Spain the people want to start this then no problem!
Q. Who would you pay to go and see?
Any sport? Tiger Woods (laughs)
Q. And any footballer?
Footballer? Well, some of them. Rooney, Drogba, Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Raul, Benzema, Kaka. Many players!
Q. You said once “anyone who likes football, loves me”. What did you mean by that – did you say that, by the way?
I wanted to say that. Well because I think I am entertaining. You have to look at football like entertainment and I try to do that. I think normal people who like football like me because I am an entertainer.
Q. So what do you need to improve, then?
Many things. I think I am not complete. If you think you know everything then you are thinking wrong. You don’t know nothing and you, well, I think I am in the right club to learn more than I know now and I can improve free kicks, the dribblings, my left shooting, right you have to improve everything. In the trainings, the games, I try to work like I did when I started to learn football. I do the same things and this is why I improve all the time.
Q. What’s your biggest mistake?
Biggest mistake? It’s not easy. Well, I do a lot. Some people say my biggest mistake. To take off my shirt when I score the goal. They give me a yellow card. I don’t have to do that.
Q. So why do you?
I do it because – I don’t know if you know but Madeira now – some people have big problems after the catastrophe there and people are worried and of course I was born there, my whole family is from there, my friends, my family and I think no one likes it when some people die when it’s your family or not: it’s not good for the world.
I’m dong this for my people because I was born there and I love the Madeirans and when I see the image on the television I am quite disappointed and not happy but this is life and the people have to believe that in a few months or a year then Madeira will be the same as it was before the catastrophe.
Q. I know you are working to bring some money in for the victims?
Yes, we are working on that to try to help as much as we can the people from there, and we try to do a big thing to help. Especially the families of the victims of there.
Q. Apparently there is a Real Madrid with you and one without you.
Everything depends on the results. People do statistics – when I play, when I don’t play, when there are goals it’s all opinions of the people. I don’t think one team should depend on just one player: just because Madrid is a big club and one of the best players in the world is there I don’t think so. Maybe some people say “yes” but I just say Madrid is a fantastic team – not just because Cristiano played or didn’t play. That’s not good. I think Madrid with or without me is good.
Q. Are you looking forward to the game in Barcelona?
I look forward to playing against them in Bernabeau and it will be a very interesting game and I am very confident that we are going to win the League and we’re gonna beat Barcelona.
Q. Wayne Rooney’s doing well. Is that related to your departure from Manchester?
Well it doesn’t surprise me as I know the quality Rooney has – he’s always brilliant when In play with him. I played with him for three or four years and he was always brilliant. Not just this season although this season he has played very well and scored many goals but for me he’s still the same player – he is fantastic and a winning guy and I hope to play with him again one day. I don’t know if it’s possible but I’m really, really happy for him, for this season for Manchester, not just for him but for the other players that I have a good relationship with, and I’m really happy to see sometimes my friends from Manchester – it’s a really nice memory to know I have my friends there.
Q. You saying you want to play with Rooney again?
Why not? Everything is possible.
Q. What’s the secret behind your free kicks – your legs and feet, or is it the boots?
The boots. It’s the Nike boots!