Cristiano Ronaldo says Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane was the catalyst for one of the best seasons of his career in 2015-16.
Zidane replaced the sacked Rafael Benitez at the Santiago Bernabeu in January and led the club to their 11th Champions League trophy.
Ronaldo ended last season with 51 goals – including 16 in the Champions League – and went on to win Euro 2016 with Portugal.
The forward is now the odds-on favourite to win the Ballon d’Or having been included in the 30-man shortlist for the award and he credits Zidane for much of that, hailing his ability to boost the squad’s morale within a short space of time.
Asked who had been the best boss when it came to lifting the dressing room, Ronaldo told Coach Magazine: “Zinedine Zidane was a perfect example of that last season.
“We had not started well, but then he arrived and was the catalyst for one of my best ever seasons.
“We went on a great run in LaLiga, won the Champions League, and then I won the European championships with Portugal.
“It was a great season for me and Real Madrid and the right coach can be that inspiration.”
Ronaldo also discussed some of his other coaches, describing former Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson as having the biggest effect on him and highlighting present Old Trafford manager Jose Mourinho for his deep thinking.
He continued: “I do see Sir Alex Ferguson as a father figure.
“All my coaches have been important, but when I arrived at Real Madrid I was a man, when I arrived at Manchester United I was a boy.
“All of a sudden you are at one of the biggest clubs in the world and at that time I needed somebody like Sir Alex.
“I have played for so many great coaches, but Jose Mourinho was a big thinker analytically, he went into everything in great detail.”
Asked which person had been the biggest influence on his career, Ronaldo replied: “I was.”
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