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Ferdinand reveals one Man Utd player who ‘worked harder’ than Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo, Man Utd, 2023/24
© IMAGO

Cristiano Ronaldo is famously one of the hardest workers in football, but he was topped by a teammate in his Manchester United heyday according to former teammate Rio Ferdinand.

Ronaldo is still going strong in the Saudi Pro League at 39, and former manager Sir Alex Ferguson admitted to telling the Portuguese he could play until he was 40 after his move to Real Madrid in 2009, such was the shape he kept himself in.

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Ronaldo has won five Ballons d’Or to Messi’s eight, and it is widely held that his work ethic kept him in the conversation about the game’s greatest players given the Argentine’s seemingly innate genius.

Ferdinand and Ronaldo spent six seasons together at Old Trafford, winning three Premier Leagues and a Champions League along the way, but it was a player who joined them in 2007, Carlos Tevez, who most impressed Ferdinand with his dedication.

Tevez had ‘intensity that was unrivalled’

“A wonderful player. A great guy. Quiet, but an animal on the pitch,” Ferdinand told his FIVE podcast on YouTube. “[I] didn’t want him on my team in training, but in the game, come Saturday, there wouldn’t be many more picks before him.

“He just managed himself in training. He just managed himself and didn’t exert any energy in training. [But] come to the game, he worked as hard, if not harder, than anybody and he had an intensity that was almost unrivalled.”

Tevez spent two seasons on loan at United before leaving West Ham for crosstown rivals Manchester City in 2009, and subsequently helped them to another Premier League title in 2012. He retired back at Boca Juniors in 2021.

Ronaldo, just one year his junior, has hit 42 goals and 13 assists from 49 games in all competitions since joining Al-Nassr on a free transfer from his second spell at Man Utd in January 2023. He is valued at €10.3 million by FootballTransfers’ in-house algorithm.


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