Blaise Matuidi has called Cristiano Ronaldo’s work ethic inspirational, while admitting his own dedication is what's made him indispensable for France.
Ronaldo joined Matuidi in Turin at the start of the 2018-19 season and was instrumental in guiding the Bianconeri to an eighth straight Serie A title.
The World Cup winning France international said it would be easy for a player as decorated as Ronaldo to allow standards to slip, but insisted his new team-mate doesn’t allow that to happen.
“After the World Cup I did not have time to play around, because if I had played around someone else would have taken my place,” the 32-year-old midfielder said in L'equipe .
“The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, seeing him work on a daily basis, I can tell you that it does not leave you the choice either. He’s won everything.
“You say to yourself that when you have won everything, the backlash will come and you will ask yourself ‘what more can I earn?’
“Not him! He always wants to go higher. In training he always wants to win everything, he is not happy when he loses and I want to ensure you that it is not fake.”
Matuidi has just won his 80th international cap, appearing as a substitute in a 2-0 friendly win over Bolivia on June 3rd.
Tanguy Ndombele started the game in midfield, and Matuidi says competition for places in the engine room has helped to spur him on.
“I can say without pretension that I knew how to make myself indispensable, but that’s work," the former-PSG man said.
"I worked, I hung on, and I needed that - to feel in danger. It’s part of me pushing my limits today.
“Today, I’m happy. When I started at Troyes, to be honest, if I had been told that I would reach 80 caps, a World Cup, a Euro final [in 2016, when France lost to Ronaldo’s Portugal] and that I would have played in major European finals, I would have signed right away.”