In an interview with FIFA.com, Cristiano Ronaldo sounded off on winning the 2013 Ballon d’Or, his expectations for the 2014 World Cup with Portugal, and the hunt for an unprecedented 10th UEFA Champions League title for his club, Real Madrid. “I felt immensely proud and happy when I realized I’d won,” the Real forward said. “Winning an award like that requires a lot of dedication and hard work, and is the accumulation of many hours’ toil.” Ronaldo was moved to tears as he ascended the podium to accept the award. ”Now I hope I can do it all again next year and claim my third,” he said.
When asked about his favorite moment of 2013 -- a year in which he failed to win any trophies with Real -- Ronaldo said: “I don’t know if I can single one out above all the rest. Actually yes … qualification for the World Cup. I’d say that was what I remember most and was the most emotional thing.
The Portugal captain noted that while the national team struggled to qualify for Brazil -- eventually requiring four goals from Ronaldo in a 4-2 playoff series win against Sweden over two games -- “the World Cup will be a completely different challenge and we’ll prepare for it differently too.” However, he stopped short of calling Portugal a favorite to lift the world’s most prestigious trophy: “Our priority is getting through the group phase and then we’ll see what happens,” he said.
Portugal, of course, was drawn in the dreaded ‘Group of Death’ alongside Germany, Ghana, and the United States in Group G.