Sir Alex Ferguson has hailed Cristiano Ronaldo as the ‘special footballer’ of his generation following Portugal Euro 2016 triumph.
Ronaldo, who was injured early on in the final, had been forced to cheer his colleagues from the touchline as a late Eder strike earned them victory in extra time.
Following the win, Ferguson was present as the Portuguese lifted the trophy and the Scot was quick to congratulate his former charge.
Now, Ferguson has claimed Ronaldo to be the best player of his era.
‘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.’
Ferguson has credited Ronaldo’s longevity and his appetite for the game.
‘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.’
Ferguson managed Ronaldo at Manchester United between 2003 and 2009 before reluctantly letting the superstar fulfill his dream of playing for Real Madrid.