Cristiano Ronaldo is the ‘ultimate professional’ and he will only have a positive impact on the Manchester United dressing room.
That’s according to Rene Meulensteen – the former United first-team coach who worked with the Portuguese star during his first spell at Old Trafford.
Closing in on a controversial move to neighbours Manchester City, an 11th hour intervention saw United come calling and there was ultimately no looking back for a man who won three Premier League titles, the 2008 Champions League and his first Ballon d’Or in England.
He also scored 118 goals and laid on 69 assists in 292 appearances, before taking his dazzling career to even greater heights with Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Ronaldo, 36, is now back for a second act – and swansong – on the back of three years at Juventus.
Meulensteen said: “For me, he is the ultimate professional. If you look at him and the way that he’s looked after himself, he’s 36 now and I think with his biological age, he’s probably still around 26 or 27.
“Just looking at him and the way he will be training, the way that he goes about things, it’s just the best example that you can get.
“I’ve always felt… I got to know him when he was a young player and he was very clear in what he wanted.
“You know, every time you had a chance to work with him on the pitch, he knew that he wanted to become the best footballer in the world.
“It was just a case of finding the right strategies to make sure that, over time, he would become the best player in the world – and that was improving. He picked everything.
“He soaked everything up that he knew was going to make him a better player.
“He was the one that did extra, every training – and I’m sure that he still does that to this day. He will be a massive influence [at United].”