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Portugal news

Ronaldo admits Portugal pressure

May 30, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo says that he is ''used to the pressure'' of playing at the highest level, but admits that it is more intense when he plays for his country.

Cristiano Ronaldo
GettyImagesCristiano Ronaldo rues a missed chance

Ronaldo is set to lead a struggling Portugal side to South Africa, with the team coming under fire of late for some poor performances including a 0-0 draw with minnows Cape Verde Islands.

The Real Madrid midfielder knows that he has a chance to impress on the biggest stage of all, but admits he is starting to feel the pressure.

"Wearing the captain's armband is an honour and makes me proud,'' he told the News of the World. ''I don't mind if there are demands on me, but sometimes there is exaggeration, and it always falls back on me.

"I'm used to the pressure. But I admit that I feel more pressured with the national team than with Real Madrid, but I always try to do my best and take the name of Portugal as far as possible.

"But nobody wins anything alone and a team can't be just one player. A team can't arrive with only three or four players in form, but must have at least six or seven."

Ronaldo also claimed that he won't be bullied by fans or players who want to see him play differently.

"I'm an entertainer, that's my job. Anyone who likes football likes me,'' he insisted. ''I don't know why they [the fans] boo me. Maybe it's because they see me as a dangerous opponent. I've got experience and know what I can't do.

"I can't react badly, although it's sometimes difficult to control myself. I don't mind if they boo me. It gives me more strength. Whatever they do, I have to help my team. I won't change the way I am and the way I play."

The focus on his private life is something Ronaldo has learned to live with and the midfielder claims it won't detract from his focus on the pitch.

"Everything about Cristiano Ronaldo is a bit of speculation. Everything I do generates a certain interest from the media and from society,'' he said. ''I'm used to being in the news but most of it isn't true. I don't think people know the real Ronaldo. I know who I am and I don't care what some people think about me."