'CR7 Is The Most Devout Professional In Football'
'Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo Is The Most Devout Professional In Football'
Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has often been praised for his work ethic, and it has now been claimed that it is because of this that he has reached heights that not even the likes of Ronaldinho and Kaka could.
Former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen worked closely with Ronaldo at the Red Devils, where the player became one of the best players in the world under the management of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Meulensteen, Ferguson's former assistant, has hailed the Portuguese for always putting in the hard yards in training, and said he believes not many world class players are at the 33-year-old's level of professionalism.
"In the season we won the Champions League, Ronaldo was suspended for three games after he was sent off against Portsmouth, so I stayed behind at training to work with him," he told Planet Football.
"I knew exactly what he wanted, because he told me – to become the best player on the planet.
"There was nothing wrong with his work ethic or his skills, but when it came to the mental side, he was being kicked left, right and centre during games, which annoyed him.
"I told him that players only kicked him because they had no other way of stopping him and even that didn't work sometimes.
"I taught him what he needed to do to improve and he took it all on board.
"No matter what anybody says about him, I have never seen a more devoted professional footballer than Ronaldo.
"The key is to keep performing to the level he has maintained, which has also happened because of the constant competition he has with Messi.
"There were world-class players such as Ronaldinho and Kaka, but they never maintained it – they had the rise, but then there was the demise."
Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 games for the Red Devils before his exit to Real Madrid in 2009, for whom he has found the back of the net 449 times in 436 matches so far.
Do you think Ronaldo would have reached the heights he has without working as hard as he has? Let us know in the comments section below.