Cristiano Ronaldo invited former teammate Rio Ferdinand to his home in Madrid lat week with the two discussing his move to Spain and the significance of the latest CR7-badged Nike Mercurial release, The Chapter 5: Cut to Brilliance boots.
The Portuguese star reminisced about his unveiling to the Madrid fans in 2009, saying the atmosphere in the Bernabeu felt like a matchday with over 80,000 fans in attendance.
“All these people, coming just to see me. It was a great surprise,” he said.
Ferdinand marvelled at Ronaldo’s work ethic from his Manchester United days, when the now 32-year-old would carry on training long after the rest of his teammates were finished, saying this characteristic was Ronaldo’s “x-factor.”
“His passion for continually improving…stood out to me,” said Ferdinand.
“He had all the ingredients – skill, mentality, focus – and when he put them together, he became what he is now.”
For his part, Ronaldo says he was motivated by his desire to learn and improve so he could achieve his ultimate goal: trophies, both individual and collective.
“I learned, to be better and better. To be around the best players in the world. If you have two things – talent and hard work – you can be a huge player. I think I’m in that role.
“You work 10, 11 months a year, so if you don’t win, it feels empty. I like to win trophies, because I work hard for that.”
Ronaldo and Ferdinand’s discussion was made into a Nike short film, The Conversation, which can be seen in the video below.
*Some quotes from Rio Ferdinand also taken from Nike’s official release on the boot and film, which can be found here.