Rafael van der Vaart says he has better technique than his former Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, but hailed the star as a "phenomenon".
The two crossed paths briefly in Madrid following Ronaldo's arrival in 2009 from Manchester United, where he had already won three Premier League titles, the Champions League and Club World Cup.
The 32-year-old has since lifted the European crown a further three times with the Spanish side and won Euro 2016 with Portugal.
Van der Vaart, 34, had joined the previous season and left in 2010 to join Tottenham, and saw enough to be impressed by Ronaldo.
"He is a phenomenon," the Netherlands international, currently with Danish side Midtjylland, told Ziggo Sports of the four-time Ballon d'Or winner. "If you trained with him, you were more impressed by the athlete.
"I dare say that I have a better technique. Many people will say I'm off track, but it is so.
"When you see what he put into his training, it is extraordinary how fit he is."
Ronaldo finished the 2016-17 campaign with 42 goals in 46 games in all competitions, ending the season with two in the Champions League final against Juventus.