Ronaldo vows to hit new heights after Ballon d'Or triumph | sports | Hindustan Times
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Ronaldo vows to hit new heights after Ballon d'Or triumph

sports Updated: Dec 03, 2008 13:34 IST

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As Cristiano Ronaldo contemplated a year that has brought him enough silverware to last a lifetime, the Manchester United winger could have been forgiven for resting on his laurels.

But the Portuguese playmaker is determined to make his star shine even brighter in 2009 after beating Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Liverpool striker Fernando Torres to the Ballon d'Or this week.

The award is given to Europe's top footballer and, on the back of a phenomenal 2007-08 season in which he scored 42 goals for his Premier League and Champions League-winning club, there is little doubt that Ronaldo deserved the prize.

"I always play with pressure because people always expect a lot from me and I don't think that will change," Ronaldo told United's website, www.Manutd.Com.

"Winning this award makes me feel very happy inside because it's one of the best days of my life.

"But my responsibilities are still the same; I want to continue to play well for my club and my country and try to do as well as last season. Of course I can improve - there are many things I still need to learn.

"You can never let yourself think you know everything. I am still very ambitious and I will continue to work very hard every day. I know it will be very hard to better last season, but I will try - if you don't try you win nothing. A new season means a new challenge and I want to help the team win more trophies."

Ronaldo becomes the first United player to win the award since the late George Best in 1968. Denis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton were also honoured in the 60s and the Portuguese winger was proud to follow in the footsteps of three of Old Trafford's all-time greats.