Ferguson: Cristiano Ronaldo is the best-ever Galactico
Sir Alex Ferguson believes Cristiano Ronaldo is better than Zinedine Zidane
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson underlined just how difficult a task his side face against Real Madrid this week - claiming Cristiano Ronaldo is the ultimate Galactico.
The Old Trafford boss believes Ronaldo is one of Real Madrid's greatest ever players - and better even than the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo and Brazilian striker Ronaldo.
Ferguson sold Ronaldo to the Spanish giants for £80m in 2009, and in just three-and-a-half years the Portugal international has become one of the club's all-time top scorers. He currently sits sixth in the club's all-time goalscorer table.
He's hit 20 incredible hat-tricks - his latest against Sevilla on Saturday - and the Daily Mail claims Ferguson is preparing a special plan to combat the forward, using United right-back Rafael as a man-marker.
And, when speaking about Ronaldo's place in Real Madrid history, Ferguson was full of praise.
In the Daily Mail, Ferguson said: "Florentino Perez had all the Galacticos at Real Madrid when he was president first time around. He had Figo, Zidane, Robert Carlos, Raul in that spell. But I don't think any of those players were as good as Ronaldo.
"Zidane was a fantastic player. Figo was a fantastic player. But not as good as Ronaldo. So I think Mourinho's team are still living up to the reputation that Real Madrid can produce the top players.
"Ronaldo has beaten all the records there. He's beaten Di Stefano, Puskas, Hugo Sanchez. So obviously he is indelibly printed in their history now.
"You have to say he is pivotal to all they do - 179 goals in 178 matches tells its own story."
United face their former-player for the first time since he left on Wednesday night, as the Premier League leaders travel to the Spanish capital for their Champions League last-16 first-leg.
And Ferguson, who signed Ronaldo as an 18-year-old from Sporting Lisbon in 2003, revealed the secrets behind the Portuguese star's success.
"When he first came he wanted to display his tricks and technical abilities. But he overcame all the little flaws in his game and became a fully rounded player.
"He would practice half-an-hour after every training session. It was a simple route to becoming a complete footballer. The more you practise the better you become, and it became a habit for him."