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“I think what makes Ronaldo so great is his mentality,” says Bernardo Silva

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Cristiano Ronaldo may have turned 35 in February, but the Juventus forward is not ready to give up on adding to his extraordinary medal haul yet, according to his Portugal team-mate Bernardo Silva.

The pair were part of their country’s success at last summer’s Nations League as Ronaldo added to his collection that includes five Ballon d’Or awards and five Champions League wins.

Silva said his compatriot wants even more though, and joked that it isn’t even ‘annoying’ how much he is driven to win in training.

“I think what makes him so great is his mentality,” the Manchester City midfielder said. “He is 35 years old and it has been more than 15 years that he has played at the top level and he is not tired. He always wants more.

“He wants to win more Champions Leagues, he wants to win more titles with Portugal, he wants to win more leagues, more individual trophies, he wants more goals.

“I think what is annoying about him, in a way, is that in a training session, you play a game, and it is 1-1. The manager says whoever scores wins, and it is always him. It is not only in the games.

“When a game is stuck and you don’t know if you’re going to win or not, you know that if you give him the ball, he is the guy who decides; something special might happen when he has the ball.

“Even in the training session it is kind of annoying because it is always him that scores the most important goals! I think that is what makes him special, being there in the most important moments.”

Silva picked up a decent trophy haul himself last season, winning the Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Community Shield before his success with Portugal.

The 25-year-old was outstanding, earning a nomination for PFA Player of the Year, which his manager Pep Guardiola believed he should have won, although Silva insists he is fortunate to play with such talented team-mates.

“Some games you are more confident than others. I always have one thing in my mind, I say ‘Bernardo, if one day you are not feeling confident about something, just look to your left side and right side’,” he added.

“When I am not feeling confident about a game, I go into the tunnel, we are almost going out onto the pitch, I look around and I see Aymeric Laporte, Ederson, Fernandinho, Kevin [De Bruyne], David [Silva], Kun [Aguero], whoever. I look around and I think, ‘Why am I afraid?’ That is the good thing about having such amazing team-mates.”

Meanwhile, Silva revealed that Ronaldo was behind the decision for Portugal players to donate some of their European Championship qualification bonus to help during the coronavirus pandemic, and added that he has been using his time during quarantine to work on his cooking and learning to play the piano.

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