Cristiano Ronaldo has vowed to take on board Sir Alex Ferguson’s criticism about his lack of teamwork.
While Manchester United have reacted with the usual disdain to comments from former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon that Ronaldo will leave for the Bernabeu this summer, Ronaldo was basking in the glory of the wonder goal that beat FC Porto.
The effort came on the back of a rare rebuke from his manager, who felt the Ballon D’Or winner did not put himself out for his team-mates enough in the first leg at Old Trafford a week ago.
It was one of the reasons Ronaldo was asked to play a more central role at the Estadio do Dragao, leaving Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs to do the hard yards down the flanks.
Ronaldo (pictured) is not entirely convinced Ferguson’s assessment was accurate. But he does acknowledge the importance of his boss’ opinion. And he intends to act on it. "It is not a problem," he said. "I always respect the manager and coaches because I want to learn. If he says that it is because he thinks it is true.
"But I think I have been playing well and I have scored a few important goals."
The close bond between Ferguson and Ronaldo is one of the reasons United feel so bullish about the player’s Old Trafford future. The removal of Calderon has seen a lessening in the sheer number of Ronaldo stories seeping out of Madrid.
However, his word still carries an air of authority and his latest statement is being viewed in Spain as gospel.
He told RMC: "Anyone who becomes the next president will have at his disposal one of the best players in the world, who is already formally committed to Real Madrid.
“I cannot give any names, but all I can say is that thanks to the difficult and laborious work that I did last year, he is already formally a Madrid player, subject obviously to him being able to sign the relevant contract."