“He just uses anything.”
Rio Ferdinand has been showering Cristiano Ronaldo with praise as the Portuguese superstar equalled the record for most international goals on Wednesday night.
Ronaldo’s brace against World Cup champions France at Euro 2020 took him level on goals with Iran legend Ali Daei and Ferdinand explained how his former Manchester United teammate’s laser focus on becoming the greatest took him so far in his career.
“He was an obsessed human in terms of becoming the best,” Ferdinand said on BBC ahead of Portugal’s 2-2 draw with France.
Cristiano Ronaldo is not happy about Gary Lineker’s Lionel Messi stance
“It’s down to commitment, a little bit of luck genetically as well. But he’s just a phenomenal football player, somebody who thinks of every little detail and aspect of the game to try to get every ounce of ability out of himself.
“It’s not just physically but mentally. His touches have gone down since he was a young kid in 2004, but obviously the touches in the box where he’s going to affect games has gone up.
“That’s not just about your physical prowess and being able to do this and that quicker than anyone else. Or be stronger.
Cristiano Ronaldo scores his 109th international goal to equal the record set by Iran's Ali Daei. #PORFRA #GERHUN #EURO2020 #RTEsoccer
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“You’ve got to think about where you are on the pitch as well – and I think he’s done that as well as anybody in terms of evolving as a football player.”
Ferdinand also revealed that Ronaldo has texted him in the past questioning why the likes of Gary Lineker believe that Lionel Messi, Ronaldo’s perennial rival, is the superior of the two players.
It’s a debate that has raged for the best part of two decades and most fans have an opinion on why Ronaldo or Messi is the better of the two.
Cristiano Ronaldo texts Rio Ferdinand about Gary Lineker
Lineker falls into the Messi camp and it’s a stance that irked Ronaldo, according to Ferdinand.
“It’s a great example to young players that he uses negativity as fuel. You [Lineker] said some things like your preference would be Messi out of the two,” Ferdinand explained.
“He will send me a text saying, ‘I can’t believe he said that, I can’t believe he’s done that’. He just uses anything.
“You think, he’s done so much in his life, Why do you care about what anyone says about you? You know you’re the guy!’ It’s the competitive nature. That’s all it is. And you need that.”