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'Hard work, dedication, talent' - Cancelo says Ronaldo is one of several team-mates guiding his improvement

5:01 PM GMT+8 14/05/2019
Joao Cancelo Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus
The Portuguese defender says his Juventus team-mate has shown why he's widely considered to be one of the best players to have ever played the game

Joao Cancelo says that Cristiano Ronaldo's hard work and dedication set him apart from the rest, while adding that his Portugal team-mate is one of several Juventus stars he credits with raising his own game.

The defender joined Juventus in the summer of 2018 from Valencia following a loan stint with Inter.

He has quickly become a fixture under Massimilliano Allegri, helping guide Juventus to an eighth consecutive Scudetto.

While Cancelo was no doubt an important signing for Juventus, it was the capture of Ronaldo that was the talking point of the football world last year, and Cancelo says all of the praise the forward receives is justified as he brings something unique to every team he plays for.

"That is Cristiano: hard work, dedication, talent. All that is what makes him one of the best footballers ever," he told DAZN.

"It’s not a mistake that he has won the Ballon d’Or five times. It’s due to all the work, all his dedication, his commitment and all the sacrifices he made.

"He really is a great athlete, a true professional and I think that for us younger players it's a blessing to be able to learn from him."

Having played with the former Real Madrid star with the national team, Cancelo knew what to expect when it came to playing alongside Ronaldo.

But the defender says if there was one player that surprised him, it was Miralem Pjanic, who impressed Cancelo with his ability to control the midfield.

"Pjanic," he said, "because he’s a a very intelligent player, he knows what to do even before he gets the ball and he really surprised me. He really is a great player."

Cancelo hopes to someday earn the plaudits that players like Ronaldo and Pjanic enjoy, and he says he is on his way there as he learns from some of the game's top stars.

"I’ve improved myself as a player, in many ways, because I think that training with the best, automatically, you can’t help but get better," he said.

"Training with players like Douglas [Costa], [Paulo] Dybala, Ronaldo, Alex Sandro... but also the others like [Leonardo] Bonucci and [Giorgio] Chiellini, who helped me improve the defensive side of my game.

"My main personal objective now is to continue to grow and become one of the best."

Juventus are set to face Atalanta on Sunday in their penultimate match of the Serie A season.