Ronaldo's position has changed but his attitude remains the same, says Vialli

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The explosive winger of Sporting and Manchester United fame is now a daunting presence in the box, and one observer praised him for the adaptation

While Cristiano Ronaldo's position on the pitch may have shifted over the years, Gianluca Vialli believes his incredible focus and attitude have never altered. 

The Real Madrid star helped his side take a La Liga and Champions League double in 2016-17, and is hot favourite to retain FIFA's The Best title in Monday's ceremony. 

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While Ronaldo began his career as a tricky winger, his role has not remained static, and he is more likely to occupy the centre of the penalty area for Madrid these days than go haring down the wings.

Ahead of the prizegiving in London, Vialli revealed his admiration for Ronaldo and the fact he was able to adapt his game to keep going into his 30s.

"I think that the way he’s playing the game is exactly the way he was playing the game before but the starting position is slightly different. But in his head the thoughts are exactly the same," the former Juventus and Italy forward, who also played and managed at Chelsea, told Goal at the awards. 

"Now he’s probably starting from a more central position – before it was more wide – but his attitude towards the game, the opponents, his own team is exactly the same. I don’t consider that a massive change."

The Italian also tipped Ronaldo to carry on scoring for some time yet, praising his dedication to football and incredible fitness levels. 

"It’s difficult to predict what your body is going to do but I believe Cristiano is a great professional," he added.

"He looks after himself very well, he’s totally dedicated. He thinks about football 24/7. Italian players go to bed and they think about the training session of that day and the one the day after.

"I’m not sure when you come to the Premiership you think the same way. With Cristiano I get the impression he thinks about football 23½ / 7.

"For 30 minutes he probably does something else. It’s all about how dedicated you are to the game. It’s a game you play on the field but more importantly It’s what happens off the field that makes the difference."

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Antonio Conte Chelsea 21102017

Vialli also had warm words for Antonio Conte, who joined Juventus alongside him in 1992 and took over the captaincy role once Vialli left for Chelsea.

"Without a doubt Chelsea had a massive advantage last season when they had a week to prepare. When you give a week to prepare to a manager like Conte compared to most of his opponents who had sometimes had three days to prepare a match that’s a massive advantage," he explained.

"They’re great managers, so they’re able to prepare the match better, and to instruct the team better and come up with better solutions. Now they play twice a week, it’s almost a different sport in my opinion. It takes some adjustment.

"He’s got some players who have been there before, they’ve done it before so it’s an advantage compared to teams like Leicester, for them it was something completely new. It is tough. Antonio will have to adjust as well.

"I’ve spoken to the biggest Italian football legends and they’ve had managers who were great and they told me Antonio is on a different level. That is a massive compliment."

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