Cristiano Ronaldo told Portuguese television on Tuesday that “2018 was the most difficult year on a personal level.”
Ronaldo had to deal with rape allegations last year after former model Kathryn Mayorga filed a complaint in September alleging she was sexually assaulted by the footballer in 2009 in a Las Vegas hotel room.
The case was dismissed in a Nevada court in June, though the filing did not say if Ronaldo had agreed a settlement.
He denies the accusation, although he has reportedly acknowledged that he paid Mayorga in an earlier settlement.
“When people question your honour, it hurts,” he said on Tuesday. “It hurts a lot mainly because I have a big family, a wife and an intelligent child who understands a lot of things.”
“This is a case I’m not comfortable expressing myself on. But once again, my innocence has been proven. It makes me proud,” said the Juventus and former Manchester United and Real Madrid star.
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Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed why he and Lionel Messi can be regarded as the greatest footballers ever.
While Messi has spent his entire professional career at Barcelona, Ronaldo has spent time at Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, Real Madrid and currently Juventus.
Ronaldo has lifted the Champions League on five occasions – four times at Real Madrid and once at Manchester United, while Messi has won Europe’s premium competition on four occasions at Barcelona.
“The difference with Messi is that I played for several clubs and won the Champions League with different clubs,” Ronaldo told DAZN.
“I was top scorer in the Champions League six seasons in a row. There aren’t many players who won five Champions League trophies, so this is why I feel that I can identity myself with this tournament.
“Messi is an excellent player who will be remembered not just for his Ballon d’Or wins, but also for having improved – like me – year after year.
“I wake up every morning with the idea in my head of training with the objective of achieving something more, not just to earn money.
“Thank God, I don’t lack money, so what I want to earn is a place in the history of football.”
Cristiano Ronaldo is confident Serie A giants Juventus will win the Champions League, insisting “it’s coming”.
Ronaldo – a five-time Champions League winner who celebrated four titles with Real Madrid – was brought to Turin in a bid to break the Bianconeri’s European drought.
Juve have not lifted the title in 23 years but Ronaldo was unable to help Juve past the quarter-finals in his first season last term.
However, Ronaldo believes Maurizio Sarri’s side are poised to conquer Europe, sooner rather than later.
“I still have the strength to keep winning. Juventus will win the Champions League. I don’t know if it’ll be this year or the next, but it’s coming,” said Ronaldo, speaking after receiving the prestigious Marca Leyenda award on Monday.
After eight successive Serie A titles, Juve are eyeing European glory following five runners-up medals since their last Champions League triumph in 1996.