Cristiano Ronaldo branded 'too skinny' as a youngster to make it to the top

Ballon d'Or winner scored 61 goals for Real Madrid last season

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The Independent Online

Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed that he was branded "too skinny" as a youngster to succeed in football.

The 30-year-old says that the words pushed him to dedicate himself to training - resulting in him becoming one of the best footballers of all-time.

The Real Madrid star won the Ballon d'Or in December and scored 61 goals for Los Blancos last season to continue his unbelievable form in white that has seen him score better than a goal a game since he moved to the club in 2009.

In a video with US sportswear giant Nike, Ronaldo revealed how his upbringing and hard work led him to his present day status as one of the best.

"You have to work so hard, I do this every day. This is why I have been at the top level for many, many years," he said.

"It's not by coincidence. I do so much extra work outside of the pitch. When I was 12 years old most of the people told me 'Cristiano you are a very talented player but you are too skinny'.

"So I put it in my mind that my body can improve. With dedication and hard work in the gym I improved a lot on that - at the end of the day it's down to the person's mindset."

Ronaldo has 313 goals in 300 matches for Real Madrid, helping the club to a league title, the Copa del Rey twice and the Champions League during his time at the Bernabeu.

He also won three Premier League titles, the FA Cup, the League Cup twice and the Champions League in a similarly successful spell with Manchester United.

He added: "Athleticism also means a huge lot - these small details make a huge difference. So it's very important to do this work and it's going really well for me.

"That's why I'm always in good shape all year round. I do that kind of work, because I have to, it's part of me."

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