Ronaldo Worthy Successor to Di Stefano, Says Perez

Cristiano Ronaldo has been hailed as the “dignified” successor to Real Madrid legend Alfredo di Stefano by the club president Florentino Perez.

The 29-year-old picked up the European Golden Shoe on Wednesday for scoring 31 goals in the 2013-14 La Liga season.

He shares the accolade with Uruguayan, Luis Suarez, who scored 31 goals for Liverpool last Premier League season before joining Barcelona for £75m.

President of the ten-time European champions Perez described the Portuguese forward, who has been nominated for the 2014 Fifa Ballon d’Or award, as a “dignified heir to Alfredo di Stefano,” the club former honorary president, who passed on earlier this year.

Cristiano Ronaldo at the Podium After Collecting the 2013-14 Golden Boot Award. Image: Getty.
Cristiano Ronaldo at the Podium After Collecting the 2013-14 Golden Boot Award. Image: Getty.

“It was a comparison by the president. Alfredo is no longer with us and he sees in me what Di Stéfano was,” Ronaldo said.

“For me it’s an honour, because Alfredo is one of the greatest in football history and I’m very happy to be associated with him.”

The former Manchester United forward has continued with his blistering form this season having already scored 22 goals in 16 games in all competitions.

In total he has scored 174 league goals in 194 appearances; 22 less than Di Stefano’s tally over 284 appearances for the Los Blancos, spanning over 11 seasons at the Estadio Santiago Bernebeu.

Ronaldo, who is in his sixth season at the Madrid club and has nearly four years left in his contract, says he wants to see out his current deal.

“I hope to finish my contract with Real Madri at 33 and after that we’ll see if they want me to stay,” he quipped. “I feel young and still a long way off retiring.”

Ronaldo added: I’m very happy and in a great moment of form. Personally and in sporting terms, everything is going well. I want to win and get as many trophies as possible with this club.”

A three-time winner of the Golden Shoe and two-time winner of the Ballon d’Or, Ronaldo wants his name to be etched on the sands of history, even long after his retirement.

“Being the best in Portugal isn’t enough for me, I’m going to work to be the best ever,” said Ronaldo. “I respect every decision.

“I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, just to myself. I want to continue working in the same way because it’s harder and harder to improve my figures. I want to be the best at the best club in the world.”

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