The Juventus star was often laughed at for his determination to become the world’s best, says the former Red Devils midfielder
Cristiano Ronaldo was desperate to become the world’s best player during his time at Manchester United and sometimes even used ankle weights during training, Darren Fletcher has revealed.
The iconic forward, who is now plying his trade in Italy following a big-money move to Juventus in the summer, spent six years at Old Trafford between 2003 and 2009.
A nine-year spell with Real Madrid followed his time at United, during which the Portugal forward established himself as one of the world’s best players alongside Lionel Messi
He was only a teenager when he arrived in England, but former team-mate Fletcher has revealed how it quickly became evident that Ronaldo believed he could become the best player in the world.
“He had a mindset that he was going to be the best player in the world from the day when he came into the club,” Fletcher told Sky Sports.
“He took training to another level. At first, people loved the desire but he did get stick for it with people saying: ‘It’s easier said than done’.
“But people respected it and liked that mentality of wanting to be the best.”
At 33, Ronaldo is still considered to be among the very best players in world football and will go down as one of the most talented forwards of all time.
Former United midfielder Fletcher, who is now playing in the Championship for Stoke City, also opened up on one of Ronaldo’s bizarre training methods in his younger years.
His methods on the training pitch often saw him come in for some light-hearted criticism from his team-mates, but he was never fazed, Fletcher says.
“There were times when he was putting ankle weights on for training and doing fast feet. The lads were laughing at him but he didn’t care and it didn’t deter him. Ultimately people respected it.
“The lads saw it as a bit of banter but deep down they respect that work rate, that desire and that sheer determination to be the best player in the world, and he went on to achieve it.”
Ronaldo is to come up against his former side on Wednesday, with Juventus taking on Manchester United in the Champions League.