Former Manchester United midfielder Nicky Butt who worked alongside Cristiano Ronaldo during his first spell at Old Trafford revealed that it was not just the Portuguese's talent but also his work rate that took him to the top. Ronaldo rejoined United over the summer for his second tenure at United.
Cristiano Ronaldo became Manchester United's first-ever Portuguese player when he signed for the Red Devils from Sporting CP after impressing against them in a pre-season friendly match. The reported transfer fee of £12.24 was at that time the most expensive fee paid for a teenager in the English top-flight and the pressure which came with the territory when didn't faze the teenager as he went on to make 291 appearances while scoring 123 goals across all competitions in his first spell with the club.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was instrumental in helping the club win three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one Champions League, and a FIFA Club World Cup during his time at Old Trafford and even impressed a few legends. That includes Nicky Butt, who revealed that it was Cristiano Ronaldo's desire to be the best and his ability to work towards that goal that highlighted his rise to the top of the footballing pyramid.
"Ronaldo was to emerge as a genius but it wasn’t just about his talents that took him right to the top. It is often said that certain players worked hard, stayed behind for some extra training or to practise their techniques, but with Cristiano it was total dedication, total commitment, and total hard work. It all went beyond dedication, he was obsessed with football,” Butt said in an interview for a new book called Viva Ronaldo.
"He was the last to leave the building. In fact, you couldn’t get him off the training pitch as he worked relentlessly on his techniques, as we all walking off he was carrying a bag of balls to work on those techniques,” he added.