Tuesday, December 15, 2009


“This is the start of a new career”

Marc Beaugé in Madrid Since the Champion’s League final night in May, where Manchester United lost to Barcelona, Cristiano has been busy, becoming the world’s most expensive, most in-the-news, most beleaguered, most loved, most hated, and most paradoxical player. The current holder of the Ballon d’Or (European Footballer of the Year Award) looks back on a season that made him the world’s most expensive player as he left Manchester United for a new beginning at Real Madrid

Are you settled in Madrid?

Life is great for me here. Really. It’s almost like being in Portugal. The food, the fact that it’s almost always sunny. It rains sometimes, but I never notice. I feel at home. And the language is easy for me as well.

Have you bought a house in Madrid?

Yes, I live two or three minutes from here. It’s a quite neighbourhood, a fair way away from the city centre. My mother loves it. She comes to see me much more regularly now. Everything’s easier here. Except for going into town. I’ve been living here for two months now and I know nothing, absolutely nothing, about the city. What have I seen of Madrid? My house, the stadium, the training ground! It’s incredible! But I have time. I’ve signed for six years; obviously I’ll have time to get to know Madrid.

Since your transfer, you seem to be more of a fixture in the star system than ever. The paparazzi follow you around now …

In the beginning, they did. There were photographers, journalists. But that’s all over and done with now. They know where I live, they know where my house is, but they don’t bother me. When I close the front door, I’m safe. I’m at home. I live comfortably with my family, my parents, my friends.

Media pressure isn’t a problem. But it’s true that there’s a bit more pressure here than there was in England. Over there, there were places I could go if I wanted to be left alone. The English aren’t like the Spanish. They keep their distance, even with people who are well-known. They’re more discrete. But I got used to playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world. When you have a career like that, when you score goals and win trophies, people take an interest in you. It was already like that at United. I knew that people were interested in me. Here, it’s just a little more intense. After training sessions, there are dozens of fans outside waiting for autographs and photos. Sometimes you can spend a little time with them. Sometimes you can’t. When there are too many people you can’t give all of them what they want. But I do my best. At United, there were never any fans at training sessions.

Do you feel more pressure here? From the supporters, the media …

Yeah, I guess there’s more pressure here than at Manchester United. There’s always something going on around the club. The press are always there. The supporters are always talking. They say that we have to win this trophy, that trophy. You feel more pressure. But where’s the problem? I’m a professional footballer. I like pressure. Not too much. But a little, for sure. It encourages me.

Is the pressure that comes from being the world’s most expensive player hard to deal with?

No. I don’t care about that. You know what? I’m glad I’m the most expensive player in the world. Very glad. I consider it a fantastic honour. But, today, I’m just doing my job, at a huge club, with incredible players. What do I have to complain about?

Isn’t playing for Real Madrid very different from playing for Manchester United?

The problem is that I played for Manchester United for six years. You get to know your teammates pretty well in six years. We understood each other better and better every season. At Madrid, it’s only the beginning. In a few months, we’ll be a real team. We’ll play like a team. There’s no reason to be worried.

Which suggests that Real Madrid isn’t a team yet…

Of course we don’t play like a team yet. We have a lot of work to do. But we’re on the right road. Everyone’s working hard. The atmosphere in the dressing room is good. In a few months we’ll have improved.

For Complete IIPM Article, Click on IIPM Article

Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

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