Darren Fletcher finally reveals Cristiano Ronaldo’s secret to becoming a world-class player

Photo: Getty images

New club ambassador Darren Fletcher has revealed how Manchester United’s competitive training environment turned Cristiano Ronaldo into world-class player

The Portuguese was still a rookie when he moved to Old Trafford in 2003 from Sporting Lisbon but Fletcher believes Cristiano Ronaldo’s incredible rise in football is partly down to the tough and competitive training environment at Manchester United.

Speaking about the Portuguese’s first few years at the club, the former midfielder told the Lockdown Tactics podcast: “He was probably thankful for coming into that environment because it made him a winner.

“He was determined to be the best player in the world. He was frustrating in the beginning, he was a young skinny lad but the dedication and the effort he put in and the single-mindedness to go and become the best in the world.

“He had it tough as well in the dressing room and there were times when he was holding on to the ball too much and his decision-making wasn’t there yet. He had a tough time and he got told a few home truths, but he could deal with it.

“The growth in the space of a few years in terms of his personal training and the gym, he just became this absolute monster of a dedicated professional and there’s no doubt that that environment at Manchester United helped him as well.”

Ronaldo scored 84 goals in 196 Premier League games for the club before sealing a move to Spanish side Real Madrid for a then-world record transfer fee of £80 million.