Cristiano Ronaldo is not as naturally talented as his Brazilian namesake, but hard work has elevated him to his status as the world’s best, according to former Real Madrid director of football Arrigo Sacchi.
Brazil forward Ronaldo led the line for Madrid during Sacchi’s brief time in the job in the mid-2000s, racking up 104 goals in 177 appearances over the course of his five-year spell at the Santiago Bernabeu.
But Sacchi believes current star Cristiano Ronaldo’s dedication has earned him a longevity that was beyond his forerunner, hailing the four-time Ballon d’Or winner as “an exemplary professional”.
“I once went to meet Carlo Ancelotti when he was at Real, and do you know who was there working out an hour and a half before training? Cristiano Ronaldo,” Sacchi told Corriere dello Sport.
“The other Ronaldo, the Brazilian, had more quality but he didn’t last as long because he was looking for privileges, he didn’t want to run much.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is an exemplary professional, cognitive psychology teaches us that you’re not born with talent, it’s something you have to work at every day.
“That’s how he is. He raises Real up, Real raise him up.”
Madrid take on Barcelona across two legs in the Supercopa de Espana over the coming week, the first leg taking place at Camp Nou on Sunday and the return on Wednesday.
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