Cristiano Ronaldo on Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes: Only an 'Imbecile' Wouldn't Learn

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistOctober 29, 2019

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 27:  Cristiano Ronaldo of United celebrates scoring his teams 2nd goal with Ryan Giggs during the FA Cup spnsored by E.ON 4th Round match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 27, 2008 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo has said learning from Manchester United icons like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs was key to his development into one of the best players in the world. 

The Juventus star is one of the standout goalscorers of his generation, excelling during his spell with the Red Devils and then in a nine-year stint with Real Madrid. After moving to Juventus in the summer of 2018, he won Serie A in his first campaign with the club.

Speaking with France Football (h/t Robin Bairner of Goal), Ronaldo was asked about how he developed with United:

"By using my brain. If you've got a little intelligence, you look and take example from those who are doing things better than you. 

"That's what I did when I was in Manchester with Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Rio Ferdinand…if you don't learn from guys like that, you're an imbecile. The goal isn't to imitate but to take aspects from those who are the best and adapt it to your own personality. That's what I did. I had some talent and I watched them."

Ronaldo added that it was manager Sir Alex Ferguson who helped convince him he could be a goalscoring threat as well as a wide player. "I started to think of being a complete player without any weakness," he said. "I could score with my right foot, my left foot and my head."

The 34-year-old recently reached a landmark of 700 career goals. These numbers from Squawka Football show he can be dangerous in any situation on the field:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Cristiano Ronaldo's 700 goals scored by body part: • 442 Right-Foot (63.14%) • 129 Left-Foot (18.43%) • 127 Headed (18.14%) • 2 Other (0.29%) Ability to score with whatever body part. https://t.co/eV69hSRrD6

Recently, Tifo Football examined how Ferguson was able to get the best out of Ronaldo during the team's UEFA Champions League success in 2008:

Ferguson praised his former player recently after picking up yet another individual award:


Sir Alex Ferguson sent this message to Cristiano Ronaldo after he won Portuguese Player of The Year 🙌 https://t.co/43mULXVday

At Old Trafford, Ronaldo evolved from a flashy winger into a dominant forward, who was able to change games with his brilliance.

At a young age, having role models like those mentioned would have been a huge help.

The manner in which the likes of Giggs and Scholes continued playing well into their 30s will no doubt serve as inspiration to Ronaldo at the moment too, as the Portuguese continues to creep towards the twilight of his career.

Per Spanish football writer Colin Millar, Ronaldo has been able to remain potent despite his advancing years:

Colin Millar @Millar_Colin

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 36 international goals in 32 Portugal caps since turning 30. Yikes.

At Juventus, there doesn't appear to be any sign of the forward slowing down either and has already notched five goals in 10 outings this season.

While the incredible role models he has played with will have helped Ronaldo, it's a testament to his talent that he remains at the top of the game.