Patrice Evra has told Cristiano Ronaldo he needs to return "home" to Manchester United if his talent is ever to be fully appreciated.
Four seasons after Ronaldo left Old Trafford for Real Madrid in a world record £80million transfer, the 27-year-old is on his way back for the Champions League knockout stages. Yet by the time those fixtures are played, it is virtually certain Ronaldo will have once again missed out on the major individual prizes.
Even at Real, it seems Ronaldo does not feel his contribution has been recognised despite scoring an incredible 170 times in 169 appearances for the Spanish giants. It leads Evra to conclude his one-time team mate needs to rejoin United if his stellar talent is ever to receive true recognition. "I have been in touch with him many times," Evra told MUTV.
He added: "He still loves Manchester United and misses Manchester United.
"He has done some incredible things for Real Madrid, he broke all the records, but they didn't show him the respect he deserves. When Ronny was here, he got the love from all the players, the manager and the fans.
"He is a winner. But he likes people to like him. He misses Manchester United because it was his house. I always say I hope he will come back because this is his home. If he wants to win the Golden Ball (Ballon d'Or) he has to come back to Manchester United."
Ronaldo won the prestigious individual award in 2008, when he contributed an incredible 42 goals to United's Champions League and Premier League double season. Since then, Lionel Messi has dominated the individual prizes.
But, whilst Evra is not dismissing Messi's ability, he is adamant Ronaldo is better.
"Ronny is an incredible player, the best in the world," he said. "He is better than Messi. It is not because he is my friend or that I played with him but he has everything.
"Messi is unbelievable but Ronaldo does it on his own. In Madrid he has to score the goals and create them. At Barcelona, Messi has Xavi and Iniesta."