Dimitar Berbatov has revealed that he is not shocked by the record-breaking career of Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored again at the weekend as Juventus defeated Roma 2-1 to return to the top of the Serie A table. Berbatov spoke exclusively with beIN SPORTS about the Portuguese superstar who he played with for one season at Manchester United winning the Premier League and League Cup, before losing to Barcelona in the Champions League final.
Reflecting on his time with Ronaldo, the former Bulgarian attacker was certain that he was preparing for a career at the very top of the game. “Not at all. Not shocked because as I said, early days, I was with him as the other Manchester United players and you could see he was preparing probably for greatness.”
“The way he was believing in himself, how he used to play the game and now, years later that’s the result.”
You only have to look, at the individual and collective success of Ronaldo down the years, which shows his desire and will to be the very best, something that young players should study according to Berbatov.
“Golden balls: five. Multiple titles and awards. That’s why I say, watch him, if you’re now becoming a footballer, watch him, how he behaves, what he’s doing, just watch or go ask him."
Working hard has always been a hallmark of Ronaldo, something that he learned whilst with Manchester United. Berbatov also revealed the attackers day in day out dedication when it came to training.
“He was very professional. Everyone who played with him is guaranteed about that. Everyone would tell you how he was first to training, training hard, staying after training to work on his finishing, then swimming, then the gym.”
Whilst the former United attacker was quick to salute the achievements of Ronaldo who has lifted 28 trophies with Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus and Portugal. Adding that his dedication has seen him carve out a long and successful career.
“That makes him one of the best probably ever. When you are with someone like this, even now, I was in his early stage of his career to see how he was preparing but now after so long, he’s thirty-four, and to see him still go at the highest level possible, this is unbelievable."
Even now at Juventus, Ronaldo is still continuing to score goals and added to his tally last night from the penalty spot in a 2-1 win over Roma. For Berbatov, the attacker is the ultimate example to young players adding that they can learn much from his work rate.
“He’s thirty-four and he’s still playing like he’s twenty-five, scoring goals. The players who are lucky to play with him at Juventus especially the young ones, they should ask him questions every day even to the point of bothering him.”
“You know, ask him, watch him, observe him, how he prepares, how he behaves, after games, before games and then you learn a lot.”