Ferguson: Ronaldo is the best player of his generation

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The Scot, who managed the forward at Manchester United, hailed the 31-year-old as the “special footballer” of his era following Portugal's Euro 2016 triumph on Sunday

Cristiano Ronaldo is the "special footballer" of his generation, according to his former manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

The ex-Manchester United boss was on hand to witness Ronaldo finally convert his phenomenal club success into international honours as the injured Portugal captain rallied his country from the sidelines to Euro 2016 glory on Sunday.

And Ferguson, 74, insists that Ronaldo's work rate and hunger - part of the reason why he brought the forward to Old Trafford as an 18-year-old in 2003 - is what sets him apart from his contemporaries and makes him the best player of his era.

"He has an incredible desire for football, Cristiano is looking forward to each workout. He always wants to be better, to win. He especially loves these big games," Ferguson told Bild.

"During my time at Manchester United, Cristiano was the player who developed the most. Through much hard work. 

"He constantly worked on his shooting technique, with the right, left, his heading ability, his bounce. 

"His performance improvement is incredible. And what is remarkable, today's football is so athletic, so fast. 

“Usually top players can only play for about five or six years at the highest level, then it's over. Cristiano has been doing this for over 10 years. That makes him so exceptional. 

"Every generation has its special footballer, Cristiano is currently."

Ronaldo was forced off with an anterior cruciate ligament injury as Portugal beat hosts France 1-0 to win the Euros at the Stade de France.

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