Cristiano Ronaldo explains Ferguson, Mourinho and Zidane's best attributes

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Through sheer grit and determination - with a little bit of help from natural talent - Cristiano Ronaldo has developed into one of football's greatest ever players.

It all started at Sporting Lisbon, where the Portuguese winger dazzled with his speed and footwork and earned a £12.24 million move to Old Trafford in 2004.

Ronaldo spent six years at Manchester United, winning three Premier League titles, the Champions League once and the Ballon d'Or four years later.


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A then world-record transfer to Real Madrid followed in 2009 - and the rest is history.

The 31-year-old can't take all the credit for becoming such a phenomenal player, though, with his managers over the years playing key roles in his development.

He learned from the very best at United, played under the 'Special One' in Madrid and has since won his third Champions League title with Zizou.

But how does he compare Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Zinedine Zidane?

In an interview with Coach Magazine, Ronaldo was asked to name the managers who have influenced his career most and spared a word for each of the above names.

On Ferguson, he said: "I do see Sir Alex Ferguson as a father figure. All my coaches have been important.

"But when I arrived at Real Madrid I was a man, when I arrived at Manchester United I was a boy.

"All of a sudden you are at one of the biggest clubs in the world, and at that time I needed somebody like Sir Alex."

As for Mourinho: "I have played for so many great coaches, but Jose Mourinho was a great thinker analytically, he went into everything in detail."

And finally, Zidane: "We had not started well, but then Zidane arrived and was the catalyst for one of my best ever seasons.

"We went on a great run in La Liga, won the Champions League, and then I won the European Championships with Portugal. It was a great season for me and Real Madrid, and the right coach can be that inspiration."

Well, there you have it: Ferguson was the father figure, Mourinho was the brains and Zidane was - and still is - the inspiration.

And just as a little side note, Ronaldo also named his toughest ever opponent.

"Over the years I had some great battles with Ashley Cole," the Portugal international added. "He doesnt give you a second to breathe.

"He was such a tenacious player, quick, tough in the tackle - when he was at his peak. You knew it would never be an easy game."

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Wayne Rooney
Zinedine Zidane
Gareth Bale
La Liga
Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo
Alex Ferguson
Manchester United
UEFA Champions League
Jose Mourinho

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