Gary Neville believes that the time Cristiano Ronaldo spent at Manchester United and the style he was subjected to made him the player he is today.
Ronaldo went United from Sporting Lisbon as an 18-year-old, and collected an impressive trophy haul, including three Premier League titles, two League Cups, an FA Cup and a Champions League trophy.
Gary Neville thinks that the way he was forced to adapt during his early career in England is the reason he has gone on to achieve such great things.
“Cristiano was butchered and battered for two or three years at Manchester United and he has said it made him a man,” Neville told talkSPORT.
“He didn’t arrive at Manchester United as someone who was setting the tone for everybody else.
“It wasn’t a case of he came in and all of a sudden everyone else upped their game, that’s not how it was. He became that out of what was in that dressing room.
“He was setting the standards when he left, and he became someone who would come in and do half an hour before training and an hour after training, but there had been 20 players per season for 15 years doing that every day.”
Nevilla also nodded to the influence of Sir Alex Ferguson, a man instrumental in developing the Portuguese star.
“The club, and Sir Alex [Ferguson], and the players all set the tone for each other,” he added.
“If you look at his performances in the first two or three years, his maturity, his decision making, his physicality, his petulance, they were all smoothed out over a period of three or four years at the club.”