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Cristiano Ronaldo on leadership, breaking records and Portugal's ambitions – interview

"I want to be a player who helps others," says the Portugal great as he prepares for a record-breaking sixth EURO finals.

Ronaldo on his longevity

There are not many records left in football for Cristiano Ronaldo to set. But the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, who already holds the honour of the most EURO finals appearances (25) and goals (14), will break new ground in Germany by becoming the first player to feature at six EURO finals tournaments if he gets on the pitch for Portugal.

Pick your EURO Fantasy team!

That will be far from the 39-year-old's main ambition, however, as he looks to add a second title to follow Portugal's EURO 2016 triumph. Speaking to UEFA.com, Ronaldo discussed his leadership style, his expectations for the upcoming tournament and how, despite his almost supernatural ability, he can still improve further.

Watch all 14 of Cristiano Ronaldo's EURO goals

On his evolution as a player

Year after year, we're always trying to improve certain things. There's always room for improvement. I think I am a complete player, but there are always things I can perfect. And, with age, there are things we weren't so good at in the past, and we start losing some abilities, so it's important to try and adapt.

That's the key word. If a player wants to have longevity, they need to have a strong adaptability and the characteristics for that adaptation. That's what I tried to do. It's no coincidence that I have been playing for 20 years at the highest level, and maintaining that performance is very hard. Only with a lot of dedication and hard work can we achieve those numbers.

Watch superb Ronaldo strike vs Ireland

On his leadership style

Every professional player has their own style. I think that leadership is based on who we are, how we feel, and what we've learnt during our journey as professionals. I try to lead in a way that I think is productive. I want to be a player who helps others, someone they can look up to, see as a role model, and be a good professional.

I like to do things by example, as I usually say. I'm not one to talk much but instead I like to show them who I am. And, when push comes to shove, when things aren't right, you have to know when to discipline them and when to support them. But when things are good, you have to be with them and work together.

Leadership style is very personal, but, within this team, we have a lot of leaders in their own way, and that's one of the reasons I think that we're a great national team.

Portugal's road to Germany: Every goal

On appearing at a sixth EURO finals

I'm proud to be the first player to play in six EURO tournaments. I'm thrilled about it as it shows the longevity of my career. However, it's merely a chapter in what Cristiano Ronaldo has achieved in football. I'm happy and I feel privileged to be here to help the national team achieve its goals and, of course, try to go on and win it, which is our primary goal.

On Portugal supporters

The Portuguese fans are always crucial, just as those who will be watching us on TV, because their energy will be felt in Germany. I want them to continue what they have always done: support the national team and the players. As players, we feel that support on the pitch and, together, we will be even stronger.

On the quality of the team

I firmly believe that this team will bring a lot of joy to the Portuguese fans, beginning with this EURO. However, in my opinion, the best generation of players are always those who win [trophies]. I hope this national team will win because it's an incredibly talented squad.

Watch great Portugal goals

As we all know, though, talent alone is not enough to win. There are many things that go into winning a major tournament like this one. We have all the ingredients to win it, but we'll take it one step at a time, game by game, all the while believing that we can win it. What we achieved in 2016 was historic, both in Portuguese football and world football. Now we have our feet firmly on the ground but our mind up in the sky to look up and see that it is possible to win the EURO.