Ferdinand, who played with Ronaldo at United between 2003 and 2009, says the Portuguese forward was not only blessed with sublime skills but that he worked super hard at his trade to become one of the best two players in the world alongside Messi.
"Cristiano is living proof that no matter how much talent you have as a youngster, you have to work hard in order to be successful," Ferdinand wrote on Facebook.
"When I first met Ronnie at Carrington, he came across as a really determined lad - a rough diamond who was prepared to work as hard as he could in order to fulfil his potential.
"Thousands of hours of graft both in the gym and on the training ground turned him into the perfect specimen.
"I'm still truly astonished by the drive and determination to stay at the top, by not only Ronaldo, but Messi too. It's been a joy to witness these two push each other week in, week out.
"The question I ask however is: would they be as relentless in scoring so many goals without each other, breaking every record along the way?
"We are blessed to be in an era where both Ronaldo and Messi have lit up the game in a way that has never been seen before."
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