Ronaldo 'will Be Beautiful Again'

Last updated : 04 October 2007 By Editor

The Times:

The weather was archetypal Manchester, a world away from the subtropical heat of his native Madeira, yet Cristiano Ronaldo was sporting a pair of oversized sunglasses. "Oh purr-lease," someone sighed as he swaggered into Old Trafford, followed by assorted flunkies and groupies, but on this occasion, Ronaldo insisted, it was in the interests of looking acceptable rather than cool.

Beneath the sunglasses was a small gash on his left eyebrow, the legacy of a tangle with Mirko Vucinic, the AS Roma substitute, during Manchester United's 1-0 victory in the Champions League the previous evening. Ronaldo's reaction to that incident was to tell Sir Alex Ferguson that he had been the victim of an act of thuggery.

"I don't like to look like this, but in four or five days I will be beautiful once again," he said. With that there was a disarming smile, in keeping with the United forward's desire to project a softer image, a desire shared by his many commercial partners and, presumably, the publishers of his new book, Moments, which is less an autobiography than an extended plug for the Ronaldo brand.

"I don't care what they do," Ronaldo said with a smile yesterday. "They will not stop me playing the way I do. I think my manager does a great job in trying to protect me. Now it is up to the rest of the players, my opponents, to listen."

According to Ronaldo, the title, Moments, sums up the essence of his book. Here are a few pearls of wisdom . . .

"My passion for football is obvious. I also have a boyish side I don't want to lose ever."

"I like to improvise, as ball-dribbling, posing, speaking a sentence or whatever one has to do flows more naturally when improvised."

"Football is my absolute priority, but I do recognise that I am very fond of advertising."

"Humility is one of the values I most cherish, as well as education and instruction. On the day I have a child, those are the main principles I will pass on to him."