Cristiano Ronaldo’s desire for football separates him from the rest as the best current player in the world, believes Sir Alex Ferguson.
After leading Real Madrid to a second Champions League title in three years, Ronaldo captained Portugal to their maiden European Championship crown against Euro 2016 hosts France on June 10.
Ferguson, who was at the Stade de France to see Ronaldo lift the Henri Delaunay Trophy, is adamant that the forward’s dedication to the sport is a part of the reason for his success.
The 74-year-old legendary manager enjoyed a six-year relationship with Ronaldo at Manchester United and insists the Portuguese forward’s rewards are justified for his effort over the years.
‘He has an incredible desire for football, Cristiano is looking forward to each workout. He always wants to be better, to win. He especially loves these big games,’ Ferguson told Bild.
‘During my time at Manchester United, Cristiano was the player who developed the most. Through much hard work.
He constantly worked on his shooting technique, with the right, left, his heading ability, his bounce.
‘His performance improvement is incredible. And what is remarkable, today’s football is so athletic, so fast.
‘Usually top players can only play for about five or six years at the highest level, then it’s over. Cristiano has been doing this for over 10 years. That makes him so exceptional.
‘Every generation has its special footballer, Cristiano is currently.’
Real Madrid legend Raul says club will continue to thrive even after Cristiano Ronaldo leaves
- Cristiano Ronaldo is Real Madrid’s all-time leading goalscorer
- Portugal captain helped his country to win Euro 2016 in France
- Striker is one of world football’s most decorated players
- Los Blancos legend Raul believes club can cope with his exit
The former Spain striker told AS: ‘What Cristiano has been doing is huge, but Madrid have a great team with players who can still offer more. The important things is that they keep working as a unit.’
Raul added: ‘Cristiano has been the top scorer for the last seven seasons or so. Nobody expected him to perform like this, he has an incredible desire to meet his objectives and keep working.
I have a good relationship with him. And there is a mutual admiration. It’s a shame that we played together for just one year, but it was an important year and we had a connection.’
Ronaldo joined Los Blancos from Manchester United in 2009 for a then world record £80million transfer fee.
And not since his debut season in Spain has the 31-year-old failed to find the back of the net at least 50 times for his club.