Cristiano Ronaldo said the rape allegation made against him in 2018 was an attack on his honor and led to one of the worst years of his life.
The 34-year-old stood accused of sexually assaulting Kathryn Mayorga in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009, with German publication Der Spiegel reporting the claims last October.
However, after reopening an investigation at the request of the alleged victim, Las Vegas police concluded last month that there was not enough evidence to support the claim at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.
In an interview with Portuguese television channel TVI, Ronaldo spoke about the strain the allegation put on him and his family.
"Firstly 2018, the year that passed, was possibly the worst year for me, not professionally but personally speaking," the 34-year-old said.
"When people question your honor, it hurts, it hurts a lot - especially for me.I have a big family, a wife. I have a son that is already smart enough to understand. He is nine-years-old. It was a tough year, possibly the worst I've ever had," he added.
The five-time Ballon d'Or underlined the relief he felt when the investigation was closed without any charges: "Thank God, once again, it has been proved - what my friends, family, people who care about me already knew - that I was and am innocent. And it has been confirmed once more, which makes me proud."
The Juventus and Portugal star did not directly address the 2009 allegation brought on by Ms. Mayorga, who in a separate lawsuit says she was pressured to sign an agreement to keep quiet in exchange for $375,000.