Portuguese football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has been named as the best player of the 21st century at the Globe Soccer Awards held over the weekend. During the event, the Juventus forward opened up about life as a footballer and how the past year has been "boring" because of the fact that most matches have been forced to be played inside empty stadiums.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus caused the total shutdown of several sporting events around the world for several months earlier this year. In an attempt to continue to return to a semblance of normalcy, governing bodies of several professional sporting leagues were forced to allow matches to continue but only behind closed doors and with strict health and safety protocols.

As such, most of the football matches for the past year have been played amid the eerie silence of an empty stadium. Cristiano Ronaldo said that he isn't a fan of the lack of atmosphere, and is looking forward to welcoming fans inside stadiums once again.

"I have to be honest, playing in empty stadiums is boring," he said, as quoted by Marca.

Ronaldo shared his sentiments to former Real Madrid teammate Iker Casillas and Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski. "I respect all of the protocol, because of course health comes first, but I don't like it. I do it because I love football, it's my passion. I play for my family, for my children, for my friends, for my fans, but I don't like playing like this. It's very difficult," he said.

Of all people, Ronaldo knows how important it is to follow the safety protocols. He was sidelined for over three weeks earlier this season after testing positive for COVID-19 while on national team duty with Portugal. He has since recovered, but not after missing several important matches.

"I like to hear people shouting. Seeing people and other players scream out from all over the world motivates me. I hope that in 2021 the rules change and we can see stadiums full again because football without fans is nothing," he continued.

Now that he has recovered and is back in shape, Ronaldo will be hoping to help Juventus regain the Serie A title. They are in the running for their 10th consecutive league title, but are currently 10 points adrift of leaders AC Milan.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo scores for Juventus AFP / Vincenzo PINTO