Manchester [UK], May 7 (ANI): Former Manchester United star Louis Saha has said that Cristiano Ronaldo was always destined for greatness as the Portuguese showed glimpses of being great at just the age of 18.
Manchester United had acquired Ronaldo from Sporting CP in 2003. Over the years, Ronaldo has gone on to become possibly the greatest striker of all time and also has five Ballon D'Or to his credit.
"He always improved but I would say that his ways never changed as a person. Throughout his career, you see the same dedication that he had when he was 18, maybe with less confidence as people were challenging him, and he had to prove that he was the best player," official website of Manchester United quoted Saha as saying.
"But to have that type of confidence to train, to work hard, and to be consistent, no matter what people say, that was just an amazing skill. It was better than having talent because the way he was able to analyse, at that age, and grow and maintain those qualities - for me, it was genius," he added.
Ronaldo spent six years at United before leaving for Spanish side Real Madrid.
He scored 118 goals from 292 appearances for Manchester United and the Portuguese also went on to win three Premier League titles, a Champions League crown, and the first of his Golden Balls with the club.
Saha also said that Ronaldo never lacked self-belief and confidence and this quality has made him the world-beater.
"Even though he was younger than me, I remember he said to me: 'Louis you need to smile more when you play'. When the kids say that to you, when you're older and have more experience, you say: 'Hang on a minute'. But I realised it was so true," Saha said.
"During his career, he could be cheeky in the way that he spoke to people, and people just could not understand and get frustrated because they were not in his league," he added.
Ronaldo now represents Juventus in Serie A.
Currently, all sporting action across the world has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. (ANI)