Alex Ferguson believes he can take little credit for Cristiano Ronaldo’s development into one of the finest footballers of all time.
Ferguson brought a teenage Ronaldo from Sporting CP to Manchester United in 2003 and oversaw his development to Ballon d’Or winner in 2008 before a then world-record move to Real Madrid a year later.
The 74-year-old Scot made his share of records tumble during a trophy laden reign spanning four decades at Old Trafford and feels Ronaldo stands a cut above other stellar names he oversaw during 26-and-a-half years at the helm.
“Ronaldo is a perfect example of someone who made himself. It’s easy for me to say, ‘yeah, I made Ronaldo’,” Ferguson said when he was honoured with the Walther Bensemann prize, which is awarded for outstanding work in football.
“Many coaches might say I made this player and I made that player, but Ronaldo made himself.
“We just gave him the tools and the platform to excel. His practice ethic was incredible. He was a fantastic player, he was the best.
“We had fantastic players in [Paul] Scholes, [Ryan] Giggs, and [Eric] Cantona. We had some fantastic footballers, but Ronaldo was just something else.”