Ronaldo wins MARCA Leyenda award

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Portugal and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo is congratulated by his former club Real Madrid's president Florentino Perez (L) after receiving the MARCA Leyenda (MARCA Legend) award in Madrid on July 29, 2019. - The award is attributed to sport professionals by the Spanish sports newspaper MARCA. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)

Inarguably one of the great football players of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo, received the coveted MARCA Leyenda or the MARCA Legend on Monday. The award ceremony was organised by the Spanish sports media outlet MARCA.

It is to be noted that Barcelona legend and Ronaldo’s rival Lionel Messi was the last football player to receive the honour way back in 2009. Only a few selected footballers have been honoured with the award. The list had Lionel Messi, Raul Gonzalez, Diego Maradona, Pele and Paolo Maldini before Ronaldo joined them on Monday.

The award is given to athletes to acknowledge their splendid achievements in their career and only some of the most successful athletes in their respective sports receive the award.

Although Ronaldo is now part of club Juventus, his most successful stint till date is with Real Madrid. He not only scored at a scarcely believable rate but also went on to win many trophies with Madrid. During his time with Real Madrid, he scored 451 goals in 438 matches in all competitions. He also became Real Madrid’ s all-time highest goal scorer in the leagues with 312 goals.

Here is a peek into his commendable trophy cabinet – Four Champions League crowns, three Club World Cups and UEFA Super Cups each, two LaLiga titles, a pair of Copa del Rey and two Spanish Super Cups. Add five Ballon d’Or titles to the already glittering cabinet and one gets a sense of why he is in contention for the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) title.

A seemingly emotional Ronaldo present at the ceremony said:

“It is a Spanish trophy and I am very honored [to receive it]. Thank you to everyone who has helped me achieve it. It is a matter of pride to me. And I hope to return to Madrid soon.”

In the Question and Answer session that followed, Ronaldo revealed that EURO 2016 win was the most important title of his career.

“All trophies are important, but it possibly is because it is special,” he said.

“It’s not the same [as the others]; when you win something for your country and you know it is very difficult [to do]… it’s the most important thing in my career,” he added.

Having won perhaps every prestigious award in the world, can Ronaldo bag home a record sixth Ballon d’Or title this December? Perhaps it is a little too early to say.

The award is given to athletes to acknowledge their splendid achievements in their career and only some of the most successful athletes in their respective sports receive the award.