Cristiano Ronaldo insists he is the best player in the world because he proves himself “year after year” with Real Madrid and Portugal.
Speaking after winning Portugal’s Best Player of 2017 – to go with the fifth Ballon d’Or which equalled Lionel Messi’s haul – Ronaldo, 33, said he was determined to succeed for his children.
Ronaldo scored 42 goals in 46 games in 2016/17, helping Real Madrid win La Liga and the Champions League. He has netted 37 goals in 35 games so far this term to help Los Blancos reach the Champions League quarter-finals, where they will face Juventus next month.
“I am grateful for this award to all those who are here, it is also an award for all my colleagues; 2017 was an excellent year, unforgettable both collectively and individually,” said Ronaldo, who beat Rui Patricio of Sporting Lisbon and Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva. “I also won my fifth Ballon d’Or and my second The Best award. I also dedicate it to my four children. That’s another record – three children in three months.
“We have to defend what is ours because there is always a Portuguese in the fight.
“I always believe and say that I am the best, whatever they say, and then I show it in the field. We are in the fight year after year.”
Meanwhile, recent Spanish media reports claiming Ronaldo has been negotiating a deal to avoid prison due to his tax arrears are “just noise and smoke” rising now as the judge may be about to move the case forward to trial, a source at the Spanish tax authority has told ESPN FC.
Various Madrid-based publications have claimed to have inside information on the case in which prosecutors at Spain’s tax agency maintain that several companies in Ireland and the British Virgin Islands were used by Ronaldo, the Real Madrid forward, and his advisors to avoid paying at least €14.7 m in taxes due on image rights income.
El Mundo reported that Ronaldo’s camp offered a “blank cheque” to the tax authorities in exchange for dropping criminal charges and the withdrawal of a potential custodial prison sentence, and AS reported that tax authorities had rejected a settlement offer of €3.8m from Ronaldo’s advisors, as officials are demanding a total of €25.7m in back-taxes and fines.
Europa Press reported they had been informed by the tax authority, AEAT, that Ronaldo’s case was still being treated as “criminal” despite efforts by the Portugal captain’s legal team to have it instead viewed as a misdemeanour.