Madrid: Real Madrid's star striker Cristiano Ronaldo has insisted that his time at English club Manchester United played a huge role in his development as a footballer.
The Portugal international joined United in 2003 and matured into one of the best players in the world at United.
Ronaldo, who eventually left United for Real Madrid in 2009, has revealed that the guidance of players such as Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs helped him become the player he is now.
"Manchester was a huge education for me. There were guys who always arrived for training one hour early. Scholes and Neville were incredible examples. Neville was the most professional player I saw. This is why these guys played in the top level for 10 years," Ronaldo was quoted as saying by Times.co.uk on Saturday.
"People like Giggsy (Gibbs), too. I learnt from them. I would go to training early, too. I would do exercise, strength, abdominals, core: many things. That example from the older players, I took it," he said.
Ronaldo worked with legendary manager Alex Ferguson during his time at United and he has nothing but fond memories of his former manager.
"I learnt a lot from Sir Alex, too. One of the terms that I still remember today is 'decision-making'. 'You are great, but you don't have decision-making. Pass the f***ing ball.' He always told me that. 'Cristiano, pass the f***ing ball'," the 30-year-old said.
"I still have contact with him. He is a great guy, great coach, great human being," Ronaldo said.