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Real Madrid coach Ancelotti pays glowing tribute to Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has paid a glowing tribute to Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ancelotti admits he's been surprised by the professionalism of the former Manchester United player.

"Cristiano hasn't surprised me with his quality and his ability to score a lot of goals, but he has surprised me a little with his professionalism on and off the pitch. He is exemplary, due to his fair play - he doesn't protest. Football needs players like this, and players like Messi, Ribery, Pirlo, Thiago Silva... They give football a good image.

"Cristiano has managed very well this year. Winning the Ballon d'Or gives him a great deal of motivation, and trying to retain the prize next year will continue to drive him on. I don't think it is a burden. It's true that he now has a greater responsibility, and for his teammates that play with him. We can now ask for more from Cristiano because he has the Ballon d'Or, although that's not easy to do with him. Scoring more than 69 goals in a season is not easy, but I have the courage to ask him for more..

"He's excited because he loves football, because he puts in a lot of work to be the best. This is a reward for all the work that he is putting in," he said about the tears that Cristiano shed. "This prize is part talent and part work. In today's football you don't get anywhere without hard work. Talent is genetic and it requires work to be able to express that talent on the pitch."

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