Paul Scholes compares two Man United greats.
Paul Scholes has been discussing the difference in approach between legendary Manchester United number 7s Cristiano Ronaldo and Eric Cantona.
Paul Scholes played with Ronaldo and Cantona.
If anyone is well-placed enough to compare the two Man United heroes it’s Scholes, who played with Cantona for three seasons and with a young Ronaldo for six.
The Portuguese forward has now returned to Old Trafford as a football veteran and will be expected to guide younger players in the same way that Cantona did as Scholes and the rest of ‘Fergie’s Fledgings’ were emerging in the mid-1990s.
Scholes saw Cantona up close on the training pitch but the former England player has now revealed that nothing came close to the professionalism he saw from Ronaldo during the forward’s first spell at the club.
Paul Scholes: Ronaldo was out there all day long.
“I’ve never seen a more professional person,” Scholes said on the official Premier League channel.
“He was out there all day long, practicing those free kicks, his speed, he was sprinting up hills, he had weights on his ankles.
“He was doing everything that the likes of the British players hadn’t seen. That wasn’t it, he was in the gym afterwards, just doing everything to prepare himself.”
Asked by fellow pundit Tim Sherwood if Ronaldo’s professionalism was similar to that of Cantona’s when the Frenchman arrived in Manchester, Scholes outlined the differences between the pair.
Paul Scholes: Eric Cantona wasn’t a gym person.
“Eric was very similar but Cristiano was still on another level from that. Eric did go out and practice but he wasn’t so much a gym person.
“Cristiano did all of his practicing before and after training and also made sure he was stronger for the Premier League by going into the gym afterwards.”
Old Trafford legends compared.
Since his return to Man United after a 12-year absence, Ronaldo has scored four goals in three matches, taking his total tally for the club up to 122 in 295 games.
Cantona scored 82 in 185 appearances for the club over a four-and-a-half year spell and his signing is often referred to as the catalyst for Alex Ferguson’s first period of Premier League dominance.
You can watch Scholes assess his two ex-teammates here.