Cristiano raising awareness for a good and important cause
Cristiano is a bone marrow donor since more than 3 years. See here (end of the post) and here and here for examples.
Yesterday, Cristiano met in the ‘Partido de las 12' three children battling leukemia and one who is a bone marrow donor.
- my translation -
Q: Hi Cristiano. How are you? Good evening. You’re living an extraordinary moment.
”Yes, I’m living a good time, as well in my personal life as in the club and the national team, everything is fine.”
Q: I guess if you go to Portugal, the people will ‘chase’ you on the street.
"The Portuguese are calm people. I won’t have any problem. I feel that the people are very happy. But at the moment Portugal is in a difficult (economical) situation, like Spain. Portugal even a bit more so and we (the national team) have made the people a bit happier with these two hours on those two days (qualifying for WC2014).”
Q: Are you a bone marrow donor ?
"Yes, already for a couple of years.
Carlos Martins said that he needed bone marrow for his son, when he was with us at the national team. He told us about the problem his son had, and us players, we showed great solidarity to help him and his son because we knew it’s a delicate situation.
Many people may think that it is something very difficult to do, but it’s just draw blood and that’s it. I have done that for many years already and if I had to do it again, because it doesn’t hurt, it’s no problem at all and can help many people, many children, many older people. This type of problem is not a question of age, so I think it’s appropriate to tell people they can do it.
If I had to do it again right now, I would, because particularly for children is a very serious disease and we need to help and I’m always available to do that.”
Q: People could get scared and ask: How I ‘m going to donate bone marrow?
”That’s normal and I appeal to the people to do it, especially here in Spain, where there are many millions of people and more options to save lives. It’s something that costs nothing, it is a simple process and the person will feel content because he/she knows it will help someone else.”
Q: How many Real Madrid team mates are also bone marrow donors?
"After the case of Carlos Martins we spoke with all team mates and the information we have is that they all did.”
Q: When you score a goal you celebrate with ‘calma”. Why?
"It was not anything planned. I don’t plan things. It all started in the match against Barcelona, we were celebrating and I scored and it was to tell the people to be calm and that the match was not over yet and that I was still there and could do a little something more."
Q: Is it true that when you score a goal you say ‘I’m here’?
"I say in Portuguese ‘I’m here’. I’m happy, as well in the club as in the national team and what I want most is to continue like that until the end of the season."
Q: Do you feel loved by the fans of Real Madrid?
"A lot. This is my fifth season at Real Madrid. At first I didn’t know how to connect with the people at the Bernabeu. The Bernabeu crowd is special, with a different culture than other countries. But when you win over the people of Madrid, the Madridistas, the people on the street enjoy you a lot, they appreciate your work, your way of enjoying the way you give everything for the shirt.
The truth is that in the first couple of years I didn’t feel identified on the pitch. But then I started to understand that the one who could be wrong was me, not the people, because the people are like that, it’s is the mentality of the Spaniards. In the third or fourth year I began to understand Madrid, on the pitch and off the pitch. And now I feel 100% happy. I love the people of Madrid, the Madridridistas. And I am living a dream whenever I enter the Bernabeu stadium, the people like me a lot and I feel great. I want to stay here for many more years and finish my contract here because there is no other club like this one.”
Q: Right now you are the idol of Madridismo?
"Yes, I feel a great joy of the fans, mainly outside the stadiums. It may be a strange thing, but I feel great off the pitch because of the people. On the street, the people, especially the children like me a lot, they talk to me like to a normal person. Most people who don’t watch football every day, look at me differently and that makes me very happy and excited and I like it a lot."
Q: Doesn’t that overwhelm you? In England, you said, there is more respect than here.
"It’s a different kind of respect. It’s not that Spain doesn’t have that, but it’s a different mentality. People are different, we have to get used to that. You have to win over people and you have to ‘kick ass’, but after you won them over, you have to keep a level of professionalism that the people don’t forget. I do not speak only for myself. I see team mates, friends of mine, considered as great professionals. I also want people to look at me as a professional, a player who gives everything for his team. Both, in the club and the national team, I’m professional in what I like the most, which is playing football and always giving my best."
Q: I imagine you’d like to retire at Real Madrid.
"Yes, it’s possible. I do not think much about the future. I like it more to think of the present. When the present is good, when you are feeling well and are motivated to do things well, the future worries you less. But the truth is, right now, what I feel is that I want to finish my career here because I feel very comfortable, I love living in Madrid, I love playing at the best club in the world and I cannot ask for more."
Q: What would it mean for you, in the prime of your career, to be diagnosed with leukemia ?
"That’s very difficult. I saw the son of Carlos Martins, and after hearing your stories, it is something that I would not want to have, nor me, nor anyone in my family. A disease is always something very delicate. I understand your positions, for me you are the heroes because to fight a disease like this needs a lot of mental and psychological strength. I esteem the sick people who keep on living. For me it would be very bad, and hopefully nor my family nor myself will have a problem like that. Hopefully God will be generous, just as he has been been with you."
Q: Do you think you have reached your peak in football ?
"In my mind, I always think that I can always improve. My ambition is to always be better. Maybe you get to a level that is difficult to convey, but I always think I can improve on everything. Perhaps, right now, I’m better prepared and it might be one of the best moments of my career. I have shown a very high and very good level and I hope to keep that until the end of my career."
Q: But do you feel you are the best player in the world?
"I think not just this year. I had to demonstrate a very high level in the last years. It is not a coincidence. Since I’m in Madrid, I have to prove to the people that I am there. It’s about taste, as I have said many times, I cannot please everyone."
Q: Do not you think you’ve changed your image and you have now less detractors ?
"I attempt to avoid these aspects. What happens on the pitch, that’s for me the most important thing. But if we manage to improve off the pitch too, that’s also very important. Age and experience might make me see things differently. Maybe I think differently now than four years ago and I no longer make some mistakes. That’s part of my evolution, and I notice that I’m more balanced, so I ‘m very happy."
Q: How many hours do you spend a day to be in such good shape ?
"I try to always train well, during the day I make few mistakes. Obviously, I try to be the perfect professional. Sometimes you can not be good, but during the year I try to keep my life always the same, independent against whom I’m playing. I always prepare the same way, may it be Osasuna or Barcelona. When I arrive at Valdebebas, I’m doing my things: spa, swimming pool, stretching … I don’t change my treatment much."
Q: Would you want your son to become a footballer?
"I would love to, the truth is: yes. When he was two years old, he always liked cars. Now he is crazy for the ball, and is always like "Dad, dad, let’s play." And I can’t say no because my dream is to see him playing. And he is amazing. He already asked me for cleats. He is already very good at striking. He surprises me and I’m very excited, but he’s still very small."
Q: If you won the Ballon D’Or, would you dedicate it to the children who have or have had leukemia?
"Here in front of all of you, I promise that all of you will come to my party."
Q: You almost never get injured. How do you do that?
"Thank God I did not get injured much, but I think things don’t happen by chance. If you train well, the chance of getting an injury is lower. I dedicate myself 100% to football. But perhaps God is also generous and allows me to avoid injuries."
Q: If you win the Ballon d’Or, will you go to pick it up?
"I don’t think much about the Ballon D’Or. I know that it will be awarded in January, but I cannot say if I will go there or not. I prefer not to say anything because things don’t depend only on me. I’m not obsessed with the Ballon D’Or. Let’s see what happens."
Remark: If you’d like to use my translation, please reblog the post or give me credit. The translation took me some time and effort.