08:16 GMT28 January 2021
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    Playing behind closed doors and in empty stadiums has become the norm in the age of the coronavirus, as governments across the globe put restrictions on large sporting events over safety concerns Footballers have repeatedly voiced concerns about not performing in front of fans, stressing their role in supporting teams and generating revenue.

    Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted that playing behind closed doors is boring for him, confessing he would even like to hear fans of rival teams abusing him once again, according to a speech at the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai where he was named the Player of the Century.

    The 35-year-old Portuguese superstar took to the floor to reminisce about when football fans were an indispensable part of the game and expressed hope that things would change for the better in 2021.

    "We, the players, respect all the protocol and health is the most important thing of all, of course, but I don't like it to be honest. I do it first of all because I love football. My passion is always football. I play for my family, my kids, my friends, the fans. But I don't like it, to be honest, it's so weird", Ronaldo told a press conference. 

    The five-time Ballon d'Or winner added that he actually liked it when the opposing team's fans tried to provoke him and booed literally every time he touched the ball.

    "I like when people boo Cristiano. When I touch the ball they 'boo'. I like it", he said. 

    Other footballers have also voiced concerns over the way football events are organised now. Ronaldo's eternal rival, Lionel Messi was in full sympathy with the Portuguese's stars ideas and told newspaper Marca last week that playing without fans was horrible and seemed like "a very ugly sensation" to him. 

    Tags:
    football, sport, COVID-19, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo
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