Cristiano Ronaldo says he “needs the enemy” and admits the haters provide him with the motivation he needs to stay at the top.
While some of his peers prefer to avoid the spotlight, the Real Madrid star has always embraced the adulation and attention he has attracted on his way to becoming one of the greatest players ever.
Ronaldo says he feeds off the jeers he receives, insisting it has kept him motivated throughout his career, which took from Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United as a teenager, before moving to Madrid in 2009 and becoming Real’s record goalscorer with 325 goals in 312 matches.
He told The Times: “I am not the humblest person in the world, I admit that. I am not fake. But I like to learn.
“I don’t mind people hating me, because it pushes me. When I go to play away they are always against me, but it’s good.
“You have to see the good things from the haters. I need the enemy. It is part of the business. They start screaming when I touch the ball. It had started already when I was 18 or 19. It is not a problem for me. It is a motivation.”