Award-winner Ronaldo focused on team
Cristiano Ronaldo says he is honoured to pick up the Alfredo Di Stefano trophy for La Liga's best player in 2011-12, but his mind is now focused on winning the Copa del Rey and Champions League with Real Madrid this season.
Madrid legend De Stefano, now 86, personally presented Ronaldo with his prize at Marca's gala ceremony, which was held at the Palacio de Cibeles in central Madrid on Monday, and attended by many of Spanish football's big names, including national coach Vicente del Bosque.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Victor Valdes won the 'Pichichi' top-scorer and 'Zamora' best goalkeeper awards respectively. Jose Mourinho took the Miguel Munoz coach of the season gong for guiding Madrid to the La Liga trophy, while Valencia's Roberto Soldado's 17 league goals saw him recognised as top Spanish goalscorer in the Primera Division.
Ronaldo, who attended the event before heading off for national team duty with Portugal, said that things going well for both him and Madrid at the moment, but the big club prizes were still to be won.
"It is an honour to receive this prize from the hands of Alfredo Di Stefano," Ronaldo said. "I want to thank everyone. There is still a long way to go. We are in the Copa final. We have taken an important step in the Champions League. La Liga is difficult, but we will fight until the end.
"Speaking personally, things are going well for me. What I want is to fulfil Madrid's objectives, which is to win an important trophy."
Mourinho, who was in Turkey on Sunday to watch Madrid's next Champions League rivals Galatasaray, did not attend to pick up his coach of the season award. It was accepted in his stead by Madrid's director of institutional relations, Emilio Butragueno, who said he expected Mourinho to remain at Madrid next season, and did not rule out a possible meeting with La Liga rivals Barcelona in the closing stages of this season's Champions League.
"[Mourinho] is a man with a contract," Butragueno said. "Real Madrid have a chance to win the Copa del Rey and are one of the favourites for the Champions League. We must first get past Galatasaray. Barcelona will get through and then we will see."
Messi was also absent, on international duty in South America with Argentina, but Blaugrana team-mate Valdes was in Madrid to receive his fifth Zamora award, as the 'keeper who conceded the least goals last season.
"This is the fifth Zamora I have won," he said. "It reminds me of a myth like [former Barca keeper Antoni] Ramallets. You [also] remember your team-mates, who are the ones who help you to achieve such awards."