Cristiano Ronaldo has described Sir Alex Ferguson as being like a 'father' to him during his time at Manchester United and has credited the Scot for transforming him into the World Player of the Year.
The 24-year-old spent six glorious years at the Theatre of Dreams
following his £12.25million move from Sporting Lisbon
in 2003. During
which time 'CR7' (or 'CR9' as he will now be known) developed from a precocious teenager, a 'show pony' if
you will, into one of the finest exponents of the 'beautiful game' on
And having completed his 'historic' £80million move to boyhood heroes Real Madrid
, Ronaldo admits that he would not have achieved the success he has done, both on an individual and collective level, without the help and guidance of United
boss Ferguson."Ferguson is a maestro,"
Ronaldo told Spanish daily AS. "For me he was my father in football.
"He was crucial in my career and, outside football, was a great human being with me.
"Talent isn't everything. You can have it from the cradle, but it is necessary to learn the trade to be the best.
"When I arrived in England I was an 18-year-old kid and had established stars by my side.
"Ferguson taught me to clean up my faults, to know to give the pass at the last moment, to take the right decision in the area.
"I spent six years at United and I owe them everything that I am today. I made history at United and won many trophies.
"It was a pleasure to play at Old Trafford, but now a new stage in my life is beginning at the Bernabeu with new challenges."