Updated: Monday, 19th November 2018 @ 5:20pm

Absence makes Fergie's heart grow stronger: Manchester United boss hails Cristiano Ronaldo as 'complete player'

Absence makes Fergie's heart grow stronger: Manchester United boss hails Cristiano Ronaldo as 'complete player'

By Chris Bailey

Though still a month away, Sir Alex Ferguson has one eye on the return of Manchester United hero Cristiano Ronaldo in their Champions League glamour tie against Real Madrid.

The Portuguese forward spent six years at the club after being chosen to replace winger David Beckham as a relatively unknown teenager.

It will mark the first time both sides have met since Ronaldo’s £80million departure to the Bernabeu four years ago – and the Scottish manager admits his former protégé has only got better.

“Maturity brings many things," Ferguson said.

"When I went to see them play against (Manchester) City, some of his decision making in terms of passing was brilliant. One-touch passing, good crosses.

"In the six years we had him, you just saw his game grow all the time, and he was a fantastic player.”

Ronaldo became the club’s second Ballon d’Or winner after their sensational Champions League-winning season of 2008.

His 118 goals for the Reds from the flanks was only the foundation for his record-breaking career with Real Madrid – where he set the bar in a league that boasts four-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi.

Ronaldo became the first player to score against every La Liga team in a season, the fastest player to reach 100 goals for Real Madrid and the only player to score 40 league goals in back-to-back seasons.

"Now you see the complete player,” added Ferguson.

"His decision-making, his maturity, his experience, plus all the great skills he has got, they all make him the complete player."

Picture courtesy of gordonflood, with thanks

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