Ronaldo wants Club World Cup to cap ‘perfect year’

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Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has targeted December’s World Club Cup as the next trophy to lift in a “perfect 2016.”

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The calendar year has already seen Ronaldo, 31, secure Champions League and European Championship winners’ medals, while this week he signed a new five-year contract with Madrid.

Los Blancos are also currently at the top of La Liga and set to qualify for the knockout phase of the Champions League, while early next month they travel to Japan for the World Club Cup, where their likely opponents in the final are Copa Libertadores winners Atletico Nacional of Colombia.

Speaking to Real Madrid TV after penning his new deal, the Portugal captain said: “After the most beautiful year of my career, with the Champions League, the Euros and the renewal, it has been a perfect year.

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“Now I want to continue by winning the league, the Champions League … Now we have the Club World Cup. I want to win trophies and that’s why I want to stay at this club to win more.”

In just over seven seasons at Madrid, the former Manchester United player has scored 372 goals in 360 matches.

Asked to choose his favourite, he selected his winning penalty in the Champions League final shootout against Atletico Madrid, even though it is not included among his 372 strikes.

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“It is a privilege to score goals for this club,” Ronaldo said. “It is very difficult to choose one goal. I have scored a lot of important goals. Maybe it’s not the goal you’re expecting, but it was decisive: The penalty in the last Champions League. It is not the typical goal, but it was very important.”

On his relationship with coach Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo said he valued the “special moments” he could share with someone he had previously admired as a player.

“[Zidane] is a player who is part of the history of Real Madrid and he is now the first-team coach,” Ronaldo said. “I admired him as a player and today I admire him as a person and as a coach. I have a special affection for him.

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“It was in his first year and winning the Champions League was something spectacular for him on a personal level, a dream come true. After winning the Champions League, we talked and there were special moments — and it was fun after winning a game as exciting as that final. We were both very excited.”

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