Rio Ferdinand, who has ended his illustrious Manchester United career, talks about the best players he played alongside during his 12 years at the club...
Paul Scholes was a genius. When we got back into training after our summer holidays, it took most players a couple of weeks to get their touch back and realise where they were on the pitch. Scholesy just got straight back into the groove, kicking the ball exactly where he wanted it.
He'd pick people out 40 or 50 yards away and hit them with a long ball nine times out of 10. He was ridiculous and was always one of the best, if not the best, player in training every day. He was probably the complete footballer.
Cristiano Ronaldo was just a joke. If you were to ask a computer to generate the prototype for a player, it’d be him. He’s physically the perfect specimen – quick, strong, the right build, and he had a work ethic. People don’t realise he didn’t just become the best player in the world through talent alone.
When he first arrived, he was a wiry little kid with a bad hairstyle but he worked hard. After training he’d pick up a bag of balls and jog off through a hedge onto another pitch. He was quite shy when he was younger, so he didn’t want people seeing him doing stepovers and working on his skills. After a couple of years, when people started seeing how good he was, he’d do it anywhere. Practising free-kicks, shooting with both feet. The end product is he’s the best player in the world.
Rio was speaking in his role as ambassador at an event for the Prince's Trust.