It’s a story that has dominated media headlines, but the corruption crisis that has engulfed FIFA is of no interest in the Real Madrid dressing room, according to world footballer of the year Cristiano Ronaldo.
He told CNN Espanol that conversations among the players revolve around “music, about women, about fashion, about shoes, about suitcases/bags, about jewelery, about haircuts.”
The Portuguese international, who had wanted to talk about a range of headphones he was launching in the U.S., added: “I don’t care about FIFA. And Qatar…I don’t give a f**k,” referring to FIFA’s controversial decision to award the 2022 World Cup to the Gulf state.
The 30-year-old then walked out of the interview.
Read the full transcript of Ronaldo’s interview with CNNE below:
Andres Oppenheimer (AO) (Spanish): Cristiano, many thanks for joining us. Before asking you about your new line of sporting headphones that you’ve come to the US to launch, we have to ask you about the issue in football that has been in the spotlight of the entire world: the corruption scandal surrounding FIFA. Question — how is the corruption scandal at FIFA affecting playing on the field of play? Is it something that worries you?
Cristiano Ronaldo (CR) (Spanish): Do you want me to be honest? (yes.) It doesn’t worry me at all. (why is that?) I do my profession, my job, I give me all for my club…the rest doesn’t matter to me. I don’t care what happens on the outside.
AO (Spanish): And your teammates?
CR (Spanish): I don’t know. You have to speak with them. I don’t know, I can’t answer for everyone else.
AO (Spanish): But, don’t tell me that you guys don’t speak about it in the locker room.
CR (Spanish): You want to know the truth? We don’t speak about it at all.
AO (Spanish): Not at all?
CR (Spanish): Not at all. We talk about other things.
AO (Spanish): What do you guys talk about?
CR (Spanish): About music, about women, about fashion, about shoes, about suitcases/bags, about jewelry, about haircuts…any more (you want me to list?)
AO (Spanish): You know, I don’t believe you…it’s difficult to believe it. Cristiano, the whole world is talking about it.
CR (Spanish): Yes, but personally, I don’t talk about it.
AO (Spanish): (Tries to say something)
CR (Portuguese): Something in Portuguese.
AO (Spanish): Cristiano, one of the related issues that people talk about is the World Cup in Qatar. Many sports figures say that to play…
CR: snapping fingers…
Someone in the background (Spanish): OK, this isn’t…
CR (English): This is, this is bulls**t.
Someone in the background (Spanish): We’re trying to talk about…
CR (English): I can’t speak like that. This is bulls**t. Speak about FIFA, I don’t care about FIFA. And Qatar…I don’t give a f**k. What you want me to do? (gestures with hand). Speak about product, he speaks about FIFA…come on. (walks off)