For 30 days the romanian readers of the best newspaper in Romania, ProSport, could vote their favourites and now the time has come to find out the winers.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been named the winner at the category "the best footballer in the world" and a ProSport team went to England to give him the prize.
Tommorrows edition will contain an interview in wich the 2008 "Balon D'or" speaks about many things but also about the man who discovered him , the romanian coach Ladislau Boloni.
Here's the story related by the romanian journalists.
The story of the prize awarded to Cristiano Ronaldo is simple. Until the last day of the year, readers of ProSport have voted the best football player in 2008, and the portugese won.
We contacted his agent and in 3 days everything was set. Cristiano Ronaldo was waiting us very surprised to receive his prize. A meeting with the best player in the world , the winner of the "balon D'or", is realy fascinating.
The adventure in Manchester started inevitabil, in a taxi who took us to Carrington , the training ground of the Red Devils. During the trip, the discussion with the driver went slowly to football. When he found out what are we here for, it fastly look like he wasn't happy anymore that we were there. " I'm a fan of Manchester City. I don't think Ronaldo is the best player. Messi is a lot better than him. Even at United he isn't the best. There are a lot of players that now much more football than he does. Rooney or Berbatov are just two examples", the driver said iritated.
After a drive of about 30 minutes we arrived at Carrington. There we were welcomed by the press officer of Manchester United, who told us that that the portugese will arive soon. Meanwhile we spole to an english journalist, who told us a short funny story, with Cristiano Ronaldo. " Once I had the opportunity to interview Rooney and Ronaldo. I asked Cristiano who does he think the best player in the world is. He thought a little. and during this pause Rooney said: Don't bother asking him, because he would like to tell you that he's the best, but he's ashame."
Meanwhile Cristiano Ronaldo shows up. He salutes politely, and vanishes in nearby room. But after just a couple of minutes he returns with the press officer of the club, Diana Law, the daughter of the legendary football player Dennis Law. The Portugese isn't realy the hot-headed type of person, as he is seen by the majority of the press. He looks rather shy. He speaks calmly and respectfull, like a teenager. In fact that's what he is. He'll be soon 24, on 5th of February, the same day we celebrate the birthday of our football king, Gheorghe Hagi.
Here's what Ronaldo said:
P: Congratiulations for the achievements on 2008, Cristiano! Your efforts, were appreciated by the romanians as well, who voted you the best player in the world.
CR: For me is important, every trophy. It's the first time when I receive an award from Romania and I was very pleased and surprised when I found out that I'm appreciated in your country as well. I know that there are a lot of people there, who love football.
P: A lot of memories bound you of romanians. Boloni, Niculae...
CR: Yes. I had an excelent relationship with both. They're 2 very special persons, of whom i have only words of praise. They've helped me a lot in the beggining of my career.
P: How did Boloni influenced your career?
CR: He was the coach that took me to the seniors of Sporting Lisbon. He showed that he trusts me, and that is what i needed most. Even though i was only 16, Boloni took me from the junior side and brought me to the big guys It was something amazing for me. At 17 i made my debut in an official game, a privelege not many footballers have.
P: How did you get on with him?
CR: He tought me a lot of things. He's a very good coach, and knows to work with any type of player. He knew how to send me the trust that any footballer needs at the beggining of the career. I can only thank him for this.
P: Marius Niculae...
CR: A great guy. We where room-mates and we got on just great. He was a respected player at Sporting, and helped me a lot to integrate in the team. He knew when to work , and when to have fun. I've learned a lot of good things thanks to him.
P: Where do you see yourself in 2 years ?
CR: I don't know where I'll be in 2 years, but i know how i want to be. I want to win as many trophies as I can , both with team and individualy. I would love that every year would be the same as 2008. I don't want to stop, and improove . If I won the Champions League and the "Balon D'or" it doesn't mean that i don't have any objectives left. I want more and i will work to have even bigger achievements. For now , i'm very happy with what I've done.
P: Do you have a message for the romanians that consider you the best player in the world?
CR: Thank you very much for appreciating what I've done and i promise that i won't dissapoint you in the future. I will score many goals wich will be dedicated to you, all my fans.