Photo credit: Denis Doyle/Getty

Man, Cristiano Ronaldo sure does love him some Cristiano Ronaldo. From representations of his well-chiseled body to his facially-imprecise but amply-bedicked statue, to a glorified home movie disguised as a feature film, and even to his own, apparently delicious crotch, it’s long been evident that Ronaldo takes special joy in monuments to Ronaldo’s glory. In a recent interview with Coach Mag, Ronaldo had a chance to pay back his personal hero—Ronaldo—with some kind words for all the inspiration Ronaldo has taken from Ronaldo over the years.

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A sampling:

Who was the biggest influence on your career?

I was.

Which team-mate, either at club or international level, has been the biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspiration has always been myself; nobody puts bigger demands on me than me. I said I admired Figo and Rui Costa, but I never wanted to emulate anybody – I have just always focused on being the best me I can.

Don’t for a second, however, believe that Ronaldo is trapped in a solipsistic loop, incapable of learning from or taking anything valuable from those people/mental projections that populate his world. In the interview he does offer praise for some of his managers like José Mourinho and Zinedine Zidane and Sir Alex Ferguson, whom he calls a father figure. And what’s more, this veritable walking deity also finds time to find some kind of motivation from regular old Joes and Jills like you and me:

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What’s the most important lesson football taught you?

To use negative people and experiences to motivate you. I actually need my haters – they have helped me achieve all I have achieved.

My only wish is that everyone in the world takes as much pleasure and inspiration from Cristiano Ronaldo as Cristiano Ronaldo does.

[Coach]