Saturday, August 7, 2010

Jose Mourinho Compliments 'Friend' Sir Alex Ferguson For Developing Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has handed a compliment to his "friend" Sir Alex Ferguson for the work ethic inculcated in Cristiano Ronaldo during his time at Manchester United.

The former Chelsea boss shared a healthy rivalry with the Scot even before he worked in the Premier League, but still considers his Manchester-based counterpart a friend.

The ex-Porto and Inter manager also revealed that the pair had spoken about Ronaldo in the past, and remained impressed with the Portual international's work rate having watched the player during the club's pre-season.

"Jorge Mendes [Mourinho and Ronaldo's agent] works with me and with him and we always talk a lot about Cristiano," Mourinho told AS.

"In addition, there are few coaches that I am friends with and Sir Alex Ferguson is one of them. And I talked to him, too.

"He said that the 'lad' as he called him, had an amazing way of working. After seeing it up close, I think it is impressive for a player with the status he has that no one works harder than him.

"I had very experienced players at Inter, much older, they were examples. [Javier] Zanetti, [Ivan] Cordoba and [Marco] Materazzi showed how it was done.

"Here I have a Cristiano and, by the way he works, it is easy to demand from others what I want in regard to the dedication to work."

Switching to the prospect of bringing in new faces to the club, Mourinho maintained that he is looking add a defender and a forward to his armoury.

"Apart from signing a new defender, I also want to add another forward to the team. A new attacker would be very much welcome. I'd rather have one more forward than being short of options up front," he said.

"I currently have Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema for the striker position, while Cristiano Ronaldo could also play there. However, I prefer to give him a bit more freedom on the pitch. He's too talented to have him up front all the time."

The Portuguese tactician also shed some light on the logic behind the two attacking acquisitions that Real have made this summer.

"Pedro Leon and Angel Di Maria are the type of players we didn't have yet in our squad," said Mourinho.

"Madrid played very much through the centre of the pitch last season because of the absence of wingers. We now have two technically gifted wingers who can only get better over the coming years.

"They really add something to the team."


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