FOOTBALLER Cristiano Ronaldo is being lined up to star in a multi-million dollar remake of the epic TV series Roots.
Producers say the star's treatment at the hands of Manchester United make him the perfect choice to portray the young African slave who is beaten by his brutal masters.
The Portuguese winger said he had been traumatised by 'outrageous' demands that he honour the £125,000 a week, legally-binding contract, which has brought him only, misery, adulation and Gemma Atkinson.
Speaking from the titanium gazebo in the rose garden of his 31-room mansion, Ronaldo said: "I feel I can relate to the suffering of African slaves.
"If anything, it is worse, because footballers cannot sing while we work, whereas they had time to develop gospel music during their 16-hours shifts before dropping dead from exhaustion."
In the series a young African boy is dragged from his homeland and shipped to America where he is forced to work in the fields by a cruel and violent plantation owner.
"The similarities are uncanny, though admittedly, the Lear Jet that flew me from Lisbon to Manchester wasn't packed with 150 other players sleeping head-to-toe."
Ronaldo also conceded that, while the slave-master in Roots administered brutal beatings, Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson had nurtured his talent, lavished him with praise and turned him into one of the best footballers in the world.
"But without the freedom to do whatever I want, wherever I want, for whatever fee I want, I am exactly the same as a cotton picker forced to live in a shed, dying at the age of 32."
He added: "I know the people will love my acting. Already, in the streets, I hear many of them calling me 'Kunta'."