Football

Ronaldo: People talk too much

Real superstar Ronaldo hits back at critics after capping 'spectacular' year with another trophy

Cristiano Ronaldo said he had answered his critics in style as he rounded off a "spectacular" year with a hat-trick to win the Club World Cup for Real Madrid on Sunday and add to his multitude of titles.

After his heroics floored Japan's Kashima Antlers 4-2 in extra-time, the Portuguese superstar summed up a remarkable season in which he has also lifted the Champions League, Uefa Super Cup, Euro 2016 and Ballon d'Or trophies.

"Everyone always expects more from Cristiano, I always give my best and, if I can't do it, it's because I'm unable," said Ronaldo.

"People often talk too much, but I'm used to that. I show my quality on the pitch and nothing has gone badly.

"I have kept my level of performance as high as possible over the last 10 years.

It was a perfect year.Cristiano Ronaldo, on winning the Champions League, Uefa Super Cup, Club World Cup, European Championship and Ballon d’Or this year

"I want to keep working and enjoy my football, that is what I love the most.

"The statistics don't lie. I am really happy, I've had a great season personally and as part of a team."

Ronaldo showed why he was voted the world's best player for a fourth time last week, but there were also the moments of self-indulgence that make him such a polarising figure.

SHOWBOATING

At one point in the first half, he even tripped over the ball after attempting one of his trademark stepovers.

But, as a nail-biting final went into extra-time, Real's talisman pounced twice to bring the Spanish giants a second world club title in three years and fifth in total.

It capped an astonishing year in which Ronaldo helped Real become champions of Europe for an 11th time, added a Super Cup and led Portugal to a stunning Euro 2016 title.

Unsurprisingly, the scale of his success has not been lost on the 31-year-old, who scored his 500th career club goal in Real's 2-0 semi-final win over Mexico's Club America.

"It has been a dream year, really great," he said, after collecting the Club World Cup's Golden Ball award .

"It is a week full of great moments after winning the Ballon d'Or and now the Club World Cup, so it really is a perfect end to the year.

"I didn't think it would end like this: Winning the final, scoring three goals and helping Real Madrid.

"I'd like to thank my team-mates yet again, because I cannot win individual trophies without them.

"It has been an unforgettable year both for the team and me as an individual.

"We won the Champions League, the Uefa Super Cup and the Club World Cup.

"I also won the Euros with Portugal. It was a perfect year. I am very happy to end the year in such a way."

After their punishing trip to the Far East, La Liga leaders Real finally get some time off before a home game against Granada on Jan 7.

But, as Real savoured another piece of silverware, spare a thought for want-away midfielder James Rodriguez, who faced a gloomy flight home yesterday.

After Rodriguez hinted at leaving in next month's transfer window, captain Sergio Ramos had a blunt message for the Colombian: "Today was a day to be happy and satisfied, not to focus on other matters." - WIRE SERVICES

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