Presenter Kate Abdo has revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo showed his softer side at this year’s Fifa Ballon d’Or Gala by showing his Barcelona rival Neymar around the Zurich arena as well as ensuring that everything was translated for the Brazilian to understand.
Despite the frosty relationship between Real Madrid and Barcelona and Ronaldo’s perceived selfishness when it comes to his on-pitch displays, the £80m forward showed his compassionate side that is rarely seen when the Portuguese is in front of the cameras.
Abdo admitted that Ronaldo as “very kind and caring towards Neymar”, even though his Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi was alongside them to complete the three-man shortlist.
Speaking in an interview with Football Beyond Borders, Abdo said: “At the Ballon d'Or which I did in January, we do a little rehearsal with the players before they are going to go on stage for real.
“He [Ronaldo] came out with Neymar, who is Brazilian and Ronaldo is Portuguese, so they both speak Portuguese, and although [Lionel] Messi and Neymar are team-mates, it was Ronaldo who took him around, showed him where he had to go, made sure everything was translated for him.
“He was just very kind and very caring towards Neymar, the way he looked out for him and made sure he knew what he was doing.
“And that's a side [of Ronaldo] maybe you don't expect.”
Ronaldo spoke out in the lead up to the Ballon d’or Gala to play down the rivalry between himself and Messi – who went on to regain the award after Ronaldo took the plaudits for 2013 and 2014.
The 2015 shortlist represented the first time that Neymar featured among the three finalists, and the Barcelona forward admitted afterwards that he hopes to win the award next year where a victory would end eight years of domination between Ronaldo and Messi, who have shared the Ballon d’Or since 2008.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies