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Ronaldo fears image may cost him award

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo thinks a negative public image may stand in the way of him collecting the Ballon d'Or.

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Ronaldo, 27, appears to be again locked in a battle with Barcelona's Lionel Messi for world football's top individual honour, with the Argentina star having pipped him to the prize in each of the past three years.

Having helped Real reverse Barcelona's recent monopoly on La Liga, Ronaldo believes he deserves to win ahead of Messi this year, but is concerned too many people think he is arrogant, a claim he denies.

Asked on CNN World Sport whether his bad image had been an issue in the past, he said: "I don't want to cry about that, but sometimes I think yes.

"Why? It's question that I never give the 100% right answer, because sometimes I really don't know. Maybe I agree, I have bad image on the pitch... because I'm too serious, but if you really know me, if you are my friend, if I leave you inside my house, if you share the day with me, you will know I hate to lose.

"People who call me arrogant, I would like to sit with them and to have a chat with them to see which way to they think I'm arrogant because I think they need to sit with me to know who is the real Cristiano.

"It (the Ballon d'Or) means a lot for me. I would put everything in one bag and try to see what they (the contenders) have done by the year. If you speak about me and Leo, who won more things? Who played better? Who won the most important trophies? So I cannot say I deserve to win, but I think I'm in a good position."

Ronaldo also admitted that he longs to be able to go out in public without the pressure of being recognised.

"Being famous is part of your work, your success, he added. "People know you everywhere so sometimes I wish to go somewhere, shopping, McDonald's - not a great example - for coffee, and people recognise me but we are famous and we have to deal with that."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.


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