Cristiano Ronaldo is determined to end his career with at least one more Ballon d’Or than great rival Lionel Messi as he attempts to establish himself as the greatest player of all time.
The Portugal skipper and his Barcelona and Argentina rival have each claimed the prestigious award on five occasions, but 34-year-old Ronaldo is not satisfied with that.
Speaking on ITV’s Cristiano Ronaldo Meets Piers Morgan, the 34-year-old Juventus superstar said: “I would love it, and I think I deserve it.
“Messi is a fantastic guy, a fantastic player. He’s in the history of football – but I think I have to have six or seven or eight to be above him.
“My relationship with him is, we are not friends, but we have shared this stage for 15 years. I have a good relationship with him and I know that he has pushed me to be a better player and I have pushed him to be a better player as well.”
Serial winner Ronaldo, who agreed that Messi is the best he has played against, hopes to be remembered as one of the best – if not the best – footballers the game has ever seen.
He said: “I’m sure I’m in the history of football for what I have done and what I’m continuing to do, but one of the best players in history.
“For me, the number one in history, but for some fans, if the number one is another one and I’m second, it doesn’t matter.
“I know I’m in the history of football as one of the greatest ever.”
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid player has five Champions League titles to his name and has led Portugal to Euro 2016 and Nations League glory, and the 145 individual records he has amassed along the way continue to fuel his quest for more honours.
He said: “It’s part of my sacrifice, my obsession to win, to have success. When I say success, I have worked for that. Talent is not enough, I dedicate so much that this is part of me, records are part of me.
“I don’t follow the records, the records follow me. I’m addicted to the success, and I don’t think it’s something bad, I think it’s good. It motivates me. If you’re not motivated, it’s better to stop.”
The Madeira-born striker was moved to tears when shown footage of his late father Jose Dinis Aveiro, who died of liver failure as he was making his way in the game, and he revealed his gratitude to his mother Dolores for her support throughout his life to date.
He said: “My mum was the pillar of the family. What I have today, it’s in big part from her.”
Ronaldo, who has four children, found himself thrust into the limelight for the wrong reasons last year when he was accused of rape and although no charges were ever brought, that had an impact on him, his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez and their family – in particular his mother.
He said: “I’m not going to forget that 2018 probably was the most difficult year of my life in terms of outside football.
“My mum sometimes was very nervous and I said, ‘Mum, relax. You know the son that you have at home, relax, nothing is going to happen. Trust me’.
“But she was nervous, she is old. She is nervous at games – imagine the personal stuff of her son, thinking about jail, rape, this kind of stuff. It’s hard for an old person.
“But at the end of the day, it was good. The law did the job it should do and I’m happy, of course.”