Ferguson hails ‘exceptional’ Ronaldo

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has heaped praise on Cristiano Ronaldo, hailing the Real Madrid man as the standout player of his generation.

Ferguson was spotted in the Stade de France stands after Portugal recorded a 1-0 victory over hosts France in the Euro 2016 final, waiting for the chance to greet Ronaldo as the Portugal team lined up for the trophy presentation.

The Scotsman had a brief moment to greet the 31-year-old forward and has subsequently lavished praise on the player, who has gone from strength to strength after joining Real in 2009.

"He has an incredible desire for football, Cristiano is looking forward to each workout. He always wants to be better, to win. He especially loves these big games," Ferguson told German publication Bild.

"During my time at Manchester United, Cristiano was the player who developed the most. Through much hard work.

"He constantly worked on his shooting technique, with the right, left, his heading ability, his bounce.

"His performance improvement is incredible. And what is remarkable, today's football is so athletic, so fast.

"Usually top players can only play for about five or six years at the highest level, then it's over. Cristiano has been doing this for over 10 years. That makes him so exceptional.

"Every generation has its special footballer, Cristiano is currently."