Rio Ferdinand heaps praise on Ronaldo for reaching 500 career goals

Former Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise on Cristiano Ronaldo for reaching 500 career goals, highlighting how the Real Madrid man has developed into a far more effective player since his first days at Old Trafford.

A double in Wednesday’s Champions League tie took the Portuguese superstar clear of the personal landmark, as well as moving him level with Raul as Madrid’s all-time record goalscorer.

Ferdinand noted Ronaldo’s growth since arriving at United as a teenager, when he tried to take on the world with the ball at his feet.

“When he came to Manchester United he was a show pony, he wanted to do skills, he wanted to show how good he was,” the ex-England defender told BT Sport. “Then, he realised it was about end product.

“To become the best player in the world it was purely about scoring goals or setting up others, and having an impact on games.

“He’s forced himself to become that guy. He’s been relentless, season upon season raising that bar.

“That’s greatness right there.”