Edwin van der Sar feels Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo owes his winning mentality and personality traits to former club Manchester United.

The Portuguese international has been in scintillating form at the Santiago Bernabeu for the past couple of seasons, finally earning the sort of praise his talent undoubtedly deserves.

Ronaldo scored twice in the 2-2 La Liga draw with Barcelona last night, taking his total tally to 160 goals in 155 games since joining Los Blancos from Old Trafford in an £80million deal in 2009.

Whilst there is no argument that the 27-year-old has taken his game to the next level since arriving in Spain three years ago, former Red Devils goalkeeper Van der Sar, says that Sir Alex Ferguson must be given some credit for installing Ronaldo's 'never-say-die' attitude.

"He is different from ­Barcelona's Lionel Messi, but definitely as good as Messi, who seems to be liked by the public more than Cristiano," reflected the Dutchman after Sunday's Clasico.

"But Cristiano is a fabulous guy too. He has the odd sulk in a match but he is a winner – thanks to the valuable lessons he learned in ­Manchester."

Ronaldo jumped from tenth to ninth on the list of Real Madrid's all-time top goalscorers, as he hit a hat-trick against Ajax in the Champions League last week. And, with two more strikes against Barcelona, is closing in on Emilio Butragueno and Pirri, who lie joint-seventh on 171 goals.

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