FIFA soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo is featured this year in TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” and joins other influentials like Pope Francis, Barack Obama and pop icon Beyoncé on this year’s list.
There were only five other sports dignitaries noted on the magazine’s 2014 list. They were Brooklyn Nets star Jason Collins, Seattle Seahawks SuperBowl champion Richard Sherman, Tennis virtuoso Serena Williams and golf pro Lydia Ko.
Brazilian soccer legend Pele heralded his fellow ‘futball’ star on the magazine page featuring the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2013 winner.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most influential athletes in sports today. I greatly respect his competitive mind-set on the field, and it’s no surprise that he is currently considered the best soccer player in the world. He reminds me a bit of my late friend and Portuguese soccer legend Eusebio,” said Pele.
Very proud to win the Ballon d’Or for the second time, it means so much to me. I thank my teammates. pic.twitter.com/INcV1VjgDx
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) January 13, 2014
“I had the opportunity to share his joy onstage at this year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich. Cristiano never ceases to give his best for his national team. He reminds me a bit of my late friend and Portuguese soccer legend Eusébio. They have the same elegance and creativity,” said Pele.
Pelé: I had the opportunity to share CR7's joy onstage at this year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich. pic.twitter.com/nB9VHz3K1b
— SocialRMadrid (@SocialRMadrid) April 24, 2014
“Back when I played, I would have loved having a teammate like Cristiano to play with up front. I would like to encourage him to keep up the hard work and to continue to fuel the passion for the sport among today’s youth.”
Such an honour to be one of TIME's 100 most influential people. http://t.co/BCMj7q0V0u
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) April 25, 2014
The Portuguese native is the only Real Madrid player in history to have scored more than 30 goals in four consecutive seasons and the fastest player to have reached 100 goals.
Image via YouTube