Former Manchester United defender Phil Neville has claimed that Cristiano Ronaldo spends up to four hours in the gym every day to make sure he stands out above the rest.
The Portuguese ace was recently crowned the best player in the world by scooping his third Ballon d'Or. The prize rounded off a glorious year for Ronaldo, who helped Real Madrid claim a historic 10th European crown last season as well as the Copa del Rey.
Along with Lionel Messi, Ronaldo is considered as one of the best of all time, and now Neville has shed some light on the work he does to maintain his astonishing levels.
Speaking to the BBC's Dan Walker, the former Manchester United defender said he witnessed Ronaldo's dedication to be the best during their time together at Old Trafford.
"For me there was only one winner of that award," he said. "I watched the ceremony on Monday and to see him and Messi up on stage during the press conference beforehand, it's obvious that there's a lot of respect between them but they probably don't like each other as well.
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He continued: "People say [about Ronaldo] that it is all natural talent but I worked with him for four or five seasons and he works harder than any other footballer I know. The skills you see on a Saturday, he's perfecting them every day for hours. With his physique, he's in the gym three or four hours a day lifting weights.
"When he came to Manchester United he was stick thin, and he wanted to develop his physique and he did that through sheer hard work. He's a great example, when people ask me about who has earned the right to be the best in the world, he's the one that stands out."
When Ronaldo's gym work is coupled with time training during the week, it gives an insight into how hard the Real Madrid superstar works at being the best in the world.
His dedication couldn't help Madrid on Thursday however as they crashed out of the Copa del Rey against rivals Atletico Madrid, although they remain top in La Liga this season.
Check out the video of Neville talking about their time together at Manchester United above.
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