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Former Man Utd goalkeeper Tim Howard reveals what Cristiano Ronaldo is really like behind the scenes

Former Man Utd goalkeeper Tim Howard reveals what Cristiano Ronaldo is really like behind the scenes

Cristiano Ronaldo worked harder than anyone else, according to Howard, but one 'crucial' detail may surprise some.

Tim Howard has opened up about former Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and what he is really like behind the scenes.

The 44-year-old former goalkeeper, who made 77 appearances for United after joining from MLS side MetroStars in 2003, played alongside Ronaldo for four years before joining Everton.

He would not only watch the Portuguese winger flourish into one of the world's best forwards during that time, but he would naturally get to know Ronaldo on a more personal level.

Speaking to the Daily Mail this week, Howard gave readers an insight into the five-time Ballon d'Or winner and his personality away from the spotlight.

"You see the perfume and underwear ads, the McLarens and the Ferraris, the houses and the yachts," Howard said, before adding that Ronaldo was a "joker" within the group

He continued: "You've never, ever seen a human being work as hard as him."

Howard, of course, isn't the only person to comment on Ronaldo's hard work and desire to become the best.

Sir Alex Ferguson, who once described Ronaldo as the most gifted player he'd ever managed, has often voiced his admiration for Ronaldo's work ethic.

And another former Manchester United teammate, Nicky Butt, once gave a fascinating insight into his mentality.

"Ronaldo was to emerge as a genius but it wasn’t just about his talents that took him right to the top," Butt said in the book Viva Ronaldo.

"It is often said that certain players worked hard, stayed behind for some extra training or to practise their techniques, but with Cristiano it was total dedication, total commitment, and total hard work.

"He didn’t have a God given physique, it wasn’t given, he worked hard to achieve it. He actually came to us as a skinny, scrawny young kid, and worked hard to get that physique over many, many years."

"He had to reach a new level of physical strength because the Premier League demanded it, and he had plenty of opportunity to see at first hand how physical and tough it can be when he was up against, even in training, the likes of Roy Keane and Jaap Stam.

"We would also see him work relentlessly on his free kicks and he would tell us about something he had seen somewhere, and he wanted to perfect it, and he would work again relentlessly until he did.

"It all went beyond dedication, he was obsessed with football. You see it all the time when some players talk about their dedication and how much extra practise they put in.

"But often it is little more than a pretence, maybe a touch more time practising and then rush off to do something else they are keen on, or can’t wait to go home and have something to eat, but rarely do you find someone totally committed 24/7 to the game, but Cristiano was one of those."

Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

Butt added: "He never had a girlfriend back then, or seemed that interested in any distractions such as that, he never had a wife and kids to rush back to see or to entertain, he lived alone.

"He was the last to leave the building. In fact, you couldn’t get him off the training pitch as he worked relentlessly on his techniques, as we all walking off he was carrying a bag of balls to work on those techniques.

"We would be having lunch in the canteen or getting ready to go home and you could hear the voice of Sir Alex bellowing across the training fields at two or three o’clock in the afternoon, shouting at Cristiano that it was time to get off the pitch as 'we have a game in two days - enough now'!"

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images

Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United, Premier League