Cristiano Ronaldo is missing the haters: Pandemic-era football is boring!

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Cristiano Ronaldo has declared football is "boring" without supporters and says he misses the buzz of being booed by fans of rival teams.

The Juventus and Portugal forward was given the Player of the Century award at the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai on Sunday. The prize was given to the player considered the world's best from 2001 to 2020.

Even as the accolades pile up, the 35-year-old admits he is not enjoying the game as much as he did previously, and he puts that down to the pandemic keeping fans locked out of stadiums.

The Serie A season is taking place behind closed doors for now, and reigning champions Juventus have not been the force they were last term, sitting sixth after 13 games.

Ronaldo still appears to be coming up to scratch, with 12 goals in 10 Serie A appearances and another four in four games in the Champions League.

But the five-time Ballon d'Or winner said: "I have to be honest: to play in the stadium empty it's boring in my opinion.

"The players all respect the protocol and the health is the most important, of course.

"But I don't like it, to be honest. I do it because first of all I love football. I play for my family, for my kids, for my friends, for the fans, but I don't like it. It's so weird to play without [fans].

"I like it when the people boo Cristiano - when I touch the ball they go: 'Booo!'

"I hope in '21 they can change the rules and see stadiums full of people."

Ronaldo expressed hope that his 10-year-old son Cristiano Jr could follow in his footsteps and become a professional footballer.

But fitness fanatic Ronaldo joked that the youngster might have to adjust his diet to make it at the highest level.

"I'm hard with him sometimes because he drinks Coca-Cola and Fanta sometimes. I fight with him when he eats chips and fries and everything - I don't like it," Ronaldo said.

"Even my small kids, when they eat chocolate they always look at me and we have to be strong.

"But he has potential. He's a big boy, he's fast and he dribbles well. But this takes a lot of dedication, a lot of hard work.

"I won't push for him to be a football player. If you ask me if I want, yes I want but he's going to be whatever he wants."

Ronaldo, who has won domestic league titles in Spain, England and Italy as well as Euro 2016 with Portugal, appears to be defying his age as he flourishes for Juventus.

Earlier this month he became only the fourth player to ever score at least 33 Serie A goals in a calendar year, and the first since former Juventus forward Omar Sivori in 1961.

Since joining from Real Madrid in July 2018, Ronaldo has netted a remarkable 64 goals in 74 Serie A appearances, at a rate of one goal every 100.5 minutes.

He has also claimed 14 assists and struck the woodwork 13 times in those games.

Yet his latest award will only keep the argument rumbling about whether Ronaldo or Lionel Messi is the greatest player of this generation.

In the same period that Ronaldo has been wreaking devastation in Italy, Messi has continued to lead from the front at Barcelona, scoring 68 goals and supplying 35 assists in 81 LaLiga games.

Messi's league goals in that time have come at a rate of one every 100.1 minutes.


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