Manchester United's most decorated player ever has lavished Cristiano Ronaldo with praise, emphatically claiming that the Portuguese superstar should be considered as one of the greatest players of all time.
Ryan Giggs, who won 13 Premier League titles and two UEFA Champions League trophies during his 23-year career with United, paid tribute to Ronaldo during an interview with beIN SPORTS, during which he also highlighted the Juventus star's remarkable development over the years.
Giggs and Ronaldo played together at Old Trafford between 2003 and 2009, and the Wales international has revealed how few people expected the now 34-year-old to reach the incredible heights that he has during his career.
"You could never see him being one of the greatest goalscorers ever, you just couldn't," Giggs said.
"In his first game against Bolton, he delighted the crowd and then it was a little bit of a dip really, a little bit of frustration.
"When to pass the ball, when not to, too many dribbles, a bit of diving – it was a tough start for him at United."
That all changed from 2006, when Ronaldo announced himself to the world as a deadly forward, replacing the trickery and showboating with goals aplenty.
"All of a sudden, everything just clicked, and it was a case of just get the ball to Cristiano," Giggs added.
"Even in a United side with (Carlos) Tevez, (Paul) Scholes and (Wayne) Rooney, he was the one who could make the difference. He was the one who would get you out of difficult situations and become a goalscorer. He became a matchwinner and on the biggest stage."
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner went on to enjoy trophy-laden spells with Real Madrid and current club Juventus after leaving United, and Giggs believes the Portugal captain has cemented his place as one of the all-time greats.
"He has evolved his game from being out wide, beating players and frustrating sometimes centre-forwards with all his step-overs to someone who is just so effective...," Giggs continued.
"… He gets on the ball, his quick feet and every finish he has got – right foot, left foot, headers, tap-ins, penalties, free-kicks, and when you can do that on a consistent basis like he does, he has got to be considered one of the greatest ever."
Ronaldo recently became only the sixth player in history to reach the milestone of 700 career goals.
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