Cristiano Ronaldo’s incredible career is purely down to his hard work and dedication.
That’s the opinion of many who think the Portuguese has become one of the best ever footballers due to his determination and obsession to become the best.
While there's no doubting Ronaldo's desire to succeed, Luiz Felipe Scolari believes there is one player that has had a major effect on Ronaldo’s career.
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That man is Luis Figo who played with Ronaldo for a couple of years early in his career for their national side.
Scolari was manager of Portugal from 2002 to 2008 and handed Ronaldo his debut in August 2003, and the Brazilian manager insists that it was Figo’s guidance during his first couple of years that set Ronaldo on the path to greatness.
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"Of all the players I coached while at Portugal, there was one that was especially important for Cristiano Ronaldo, that was Luis Figo," he told Omnisport, per Goal.com.
"When Ronaldo started with the national team, the first one to help him was Figo. He was the first player to challenge Ronaldo to dribble and shoot, to score goals, to play his own game, to keep working all the time and become a better footballer.
"Figo took a position, saying 'My son, try again, keep trying. If you see the situation is difficult, I will give you a hand, and if you make a mistake I have everything ready, so calm down, but you have to try'."
Ronaldo vs Figo
Figo currently holds the record of making the most appearances for Portugal having earned 127 caps between 1991 and 2006. However, Ronaldo is just two matches from equalling that tally - something he is highly likely to do during this summer’s European Championships.
While he may not have surpassed his international cap tally, it could be argued that Ronaldo’s career has eclipsed his former teammates.
Ronaldo has won three Ballon d’Or’s and three Champions League trophies in his career so far compared to Figo who could only manage one of each before retiring.
And Scolari has insisted that, despite the influence of people like Figo, it’s Ronaldo’s own hard-work that has earned him success.
"Cristiano has won the Ballon d'Or several times because he is a professional," he said.
"He won't accept not being thought of as the best player in the world.
"He is looking for perfection; he wants to be perfect in every aspect of his game. Sometimes people told him to take things a little easier, but that's the way he is. I had the pleasure to work with him while was growing up, and he will keep working until he's 35."
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