'You are my motivation,' Ronaldo tells fans at Expo 2020

Father of four speaks of expecting twins and sends out healthy living message

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Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo told cheering fans in Dubai that they were his motivation as he urged them to treat their bodies with respect.

Ronaldo has been in Dubai for a few days and has posted several photos from the beach, near Burj Khalifa and at a sports complex.

The footballer visited Expo 2020 Dubai for a short talk at Al Wasl Plaza, where thousands turned up to see their sporting hero.

The player spoke to the crowds about how he stayed fit, encouraged children not to be obsessed with technology and even told them to listen to their parents.

Quote
I take care of my body. Age doesn’t matter. What matters is what you give to your mind and your body
Cristiano Ronaldo

“As you know, I have four kids and I’m waiting for two more,” the 36-year-old said as the teeming crowds chanted his name.

Ronaldo and his partner, Spanish model Georgina Rodriguez, announced last year they are expecting twins through a post on Instagram showing the ultrasound.

“Health is the most important thing. You have to take care of your body [and] mind,” he said.

Ronaldo said parents should lead by example as he tried to do by eating healthy, sleeping well and training.

“As you know, I’m going to be 37 soon and I’m still playing because I treat good my body,” he said.

“I take care of my body. Age doesn’t matter. What matters is what you give to your mind and your body. I have to say to the young generation — believe in themselves and listen to their [parents].”

He gave an example of how he restricted screen time for his eldest son, saying that every time the 12-year-old asked to use the phone, he would tell him there was time for it later.

Ronaldo’s message to the young was that while technology is an advantage, “don’t be obsessed”.

The short chat at the Expo was part of health and wellness week at the world’s fair.

The star appeared taken aback by the crowds that had gathered, with many standing for hours waiting for a good spot.

The cheers reached a crescendo when a revolving platform lifted the footballer to centre stage at Al Wasl dome.

“What I’m going to say, it’s coming from the bottom of my heart,” Ronaldo told his fans.

“I didn’t expect when I came … to see this many people waiting for me.”

He spoke of the importance of their warmth and support.

“So you guys, you are my motivation to carry on, to play football,” he said.

“Because without you guys, football will be less. We are guided by the fans.

“The motivation, the love makes me feel so proud. I don’t have words to express myself more than that.”

He also had words of praise for Dubai — a city he visits every year.

“I love Dubai because they treat me unbelievably well,” Ronaldo said.

“I love the people, I love the culture.”

When asked about the world’s fair, he said it was part of what he had come to expect from the emirate.

“Dubai, they always brings something [to] the table — unique, different and spectacular,” he said.

Updated: January 28, 2022, 5:19 PM
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