Rio Ferdinand Recalls When He Realised Cristiano Ronaldo Has An Elite Mentality
Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has offered an insight into what steps Cristiano Ronaldo has taken to be one of the best in the world.
Ferdinand and Ronaldo played together between 2003 and 2009 at Old Trafford as part of an immensely successful United side.
Former England defender Ferdinand said that Ronaldo was the first person to hire 'a team' to ensure he remained in peak condition.
Speaking to Goal, Ferdinand explained:
"For Ronaldo, (he is) 34 now and he is still at the top and he has been in the top two players in the world for more than a decade.
"He was the first person I saw invest in a team.
"I went around his house and I saw about 10 people in his front room.
"I said, who are these people? What's going on?
The 41-year-old went on to explain the Portuguese superstar had employed specialists to maintain his physique.
The Portugal captain joined United as a sleight 18-year-old so considerable work has gone into the physical side of his game.
"He said, that's my chef, that's my physio, that's the doctor and that's my personal trainer.
"He left Man United as the best player in the world. He was on the right track.
"I think if you give young players advice, then I would say if you have the resources then invest in yourself like that."
Ferdinand also explained that he feels Ronaldo is up there with NBA superstar LeBron James as role models for the next generation of sport stars.
"With the amount of money in the game, these guys need to take a page out of either LeBron James or Cristiano Ronaldo's book" he added.
"They have both invested huge money in having the right team around them for their body and mind."
Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid from United for a then record fee of £80 million and became one of 'Los Blancos' all time greats.
He won two La Liga's as well as four Champions League's and became their all time top goalscorer.
He moved on to Italian giants Juventus last summer as he aims to become the second player to win the Champions League with three different countries.
The debate still rages on over who is better out of him and Lionel Messi and it's something Ferdinand can't even answer.
Speaking to SPORTBible, when asked who he thought is the better player he said:
"We shouldn't pick. We're blessed to be living in their era."
But it is clear to see that Ronaldo was driven to be one of the best from early on in his career.
Featured Image Credit: PA