London: Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand heaped praise on Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo for reaching 500 career goals.
He said Ronaldo is now a far more effective player since his first days at Old Trafford.
A double in Wednesday's Champions League tie took the Portuguese superstar clear of the personal landmark, as well as moving him level with Raul as Madrid's all-time record goalscorer.
"When he (Ronaldo) came to Manchester United he was a show pony, he wanted to do skills, he wanted to show how good he was. Then, he realised it was about end product," Ferdinand was quoted as saying by BT sport on Thursday.
The ex-England defender noted Ronaldo's growth since arriving at United as a teenager, when he tried to take on the world with the ball at his feet.
"To become the best player in the world it was purely about scoring goals or setting up others, and having an impact on games," he said.
"He's forced himself to become that guy. He's been relentless, season upon season raising that bar. That's greatness right there," Ferdinand said.