The attacker has acknowledged he was not at his best at the World Cup, yet feels 2014 was arguably the best year of his career to date
Real Madrid attacker Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted that he was not fully match fit heading into the 2014 World Cup, but has no regrets over his decision to travel to Brazil and refuses to use his injury as an excuse for his disappointing performances.
The Portugal star was unable to take part in regular training action for Madrid in the weeks ahead of the World Cup – playing in the Champions League final against Atletico irrespective of his physical problems – but opted to represent his country at the tournament nonetheless.
Ronaldo would be unable to make an impact in Brazil, however, scoring just once as Portugal were eliminated in the group stages, prompting criticism across the globe.
“I’ve no regrets about what I did, as things happen for a reason. After winning the Champions League, for which I was injured – I had to sit out training for two weeks ahead of the final because of pains – I headed off to the World Cup,” Ronaldo told Fifa.com.
“I could’ve told the coach not to consider me. I could’ve headed off on holidays instead without the worry and it would’ve been easier for me. Nobody would have been able to talk about me out there.
“However, I like to face up to things directly. First of all, I don’t want to use the fact I was injured as an excuse, but it’s true that I wasn’t 100 per cent, as many people knew, and some didn’t want to know.
“But, as I said, I’m not making excuses. That I’m here today is down to my sacrifices, dedication and the sweat of my brow.”
The 29-year-old then went on to stress that lifting the Champions League trophy was a historic moment for him, before admitting that 2014 was arguably the best year of his career.
“Finally winning it and lifting the trophy was my most memorable Champions League moment. It’s the culmination of everything – the tide of emotions during the final itself, all the suffering, then scoring in the last minute. Also the fact that the game was in Portugal – it all made it a beautiful and historic moment.
“It was unforgettable for the Madrid fans. Anyone who plays there can tell you how important it is to win the Champions League – and especially La Decima.
“It was the highlight of an extraordinary year, both with club and country. I’ve great memories as it was possibly my best year at both an individual and team level.”