Former Real Madrid boss Fabio Capello has said that Ronaldo was both the best and hardest player that he has coached during his career.
Out of work since leaving the Russia job in 2015, the Italian has had a storied coaching career, which started at AC Milan and saw him lead clubs of the stature of Real Madrid, Roma and Juventus, as well as England.
It was at the Bernabeu, however, where he faced his greatest challenge in the form of Ronaldo.
“The most difficult to handle was the best I Coached: Ronaldo, 'il Fenomeno',” he told the Football Leader conference, distinguishing him from Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I’ll tell you why. I was in charge at Real, he came back from an injury and come to us in November to restart.
“He weighed 96 kilos, boxing stuff. I asked him how much he weighed when he won the World Cup and he said 84kg, so I asked him to at least get to 88.
“It was a shame, he didn’t want to make the smallest sacrifice and the best he managed was 94kg. He played three games in partnership with Ruud van Nistelrooy and we lost all three.”
Though Ronaldo was regarded as one of the finest strikers of his generation, serious knee injuries dogged him and are widely considered to blame for him failing to maintain his stunning form over his whole career.
Nevertheless, he is a two-time World Cup winner and also lifted La Liga twice, as well as the UEFA Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup.