"Ronnie’s ambition isn’t just talk either. In the changing rooms at Carrington before the 2006/07 season I notice something different about him. He’s bigger.
"He’s come back from the World Cup in Germany muscly and buffed up, like he’s been on the weights all summer.
"On the pitch in pre-season, he’s started cutting out all the fancy tricks and flicks and finding an end product to his mazy runs down the park.
"Gary Neville is done in. During the week he has to mark Ronaldo in training matches. When he’s not marking Ronnie, he’s trying to do a job on Ryan Giggs.
"Every morning he grumbles about having to retire early, though at least he hasn’t got to worry about marking Ruud van Nistelrooy in training as well, as Real Madrid signed him in the summer.
"I know one thing: this change in Ronaldo hasn’t come about by luck. He works bloody hard all week.
"Some players go home straight after training, but he’s usually out there with a bag of balls long after clocking-off time, working on different drills
"I think it’s something a lot of people haven’t recognised in him yet. Fans think players like Ronaldo are born with a talent and that’s it.
"‘Everything comes easy for him,’ they say, they think he can’t be coached.
"Part of that might be true, but a lot of hard work goes into maintaining his ability.
"When I watch him train or see him scoring great goals for fun in pre-season friendlies, I think he really could become the best player in the world."