Cristiano Ronaldo will forever be remembered as one of the greatest footballers in the game’s long and illustrious history.
The 34-year-old has spent more than a decade redefining the standards against which the world’s leading forwards are measured.
And the five-time World Player of the Year insists it has taken so much more than just talent to reach the summit of world football.
“I think my biggest strength is my mind. Talent is not enough anymore,” Cristiano, global brand ambassador for Clear, told ITV.
“I can wake up, play with kids but have to go to the gym for 30-40 minutes, but that is the difference. That is why I am 34 but look 28.”
Clear’s Keep a Clear Head campaign seeks to inspire people to show the world what they are made of by helping them become resilient, clearing anxieties and self-doubts.
And few have proved as inspiring as Cristiano, a five-time UEFA Champions League-winner, who for a decade has been battling with Lionel Messi for the title of the world’s best.
But their rivalry is certainly not a bitter one, with Cristiano revealing that the Argentinian has in fact been an inspiration, someone who has pushed him to be all he can be.
“Many people are surprised when I speak with Messi at UEFA events, but my relationship with him is we are not friends, but we share the stage for 15 years,” he said.
“I have a good relationship with him, and I know he pushed me to be a better player and I push him to be a better player.”
It’s yet another example of the resilience that has been so key to Cristiano’s success – the greater the obstacle, the greater the inspiration Cristiano appears to find in the challenge.
The Portugal international, who led his country to the 2016 European Championships before adding the inaugural UEFA Nations League title earlier this year, also singled out his astonishing overhead kick for Real Madrid vs Juventus in April last year as another example of how persistence and desire are key to achieving one’s goals.
“I tried to score this goal for many, many years,” he revealed.
“I had scored 700-odd goals, but I hadn’t done this. I thought, ‘finally I had scored a bicycle kick, [with] that beautiful jump.’
“The way I [did that], against Buffon, against Juventus, in the Champions League… it was a beautiful goal.”
Cristiano Ronaldo is the brand ambassador for Clear since 2009 and is now featured in the Keep a Clear Head campaign. Click here to see more