Cristiano Ronaldo’s work ethic and desire to win are two of the key components that have made him into one of the best players in the world, according to Barcelona defender Gerard Pique.
The pair will go head-to-head next week in the first Clasico of the season in La Liga, and ahead of the match, Pique has been praising his former Manchester United team mate. In an interview with Spanish daily, Marca, Pique said Ronaldo’s desire to keep improving even though he is already considered by many to be the best player in the world is admirable.
He said: “He is a player that I have always admired because he is a hard worker that always wants more and more. He is a real machine and very ambitious. He never ever stops trying to improve. Some say he is the best but he still wants to get better, and for that reason I admire him.”
The defender also spoke about the importance of the famous La Masia academy that he believes has helped Barcelona catch up with Real Madrid in the last decade having seen Los Blancos dominate Spanish football in the 20th century.
Pique stated: “Barcelona have always been behind Real Madrid, but in the last 10 or 15 years we have turned the situation around. We are talking about a Real Madrid that has dominated football for 90 years and that has always been ahead of us.
“We have brought through a great crop of youngsters at the club and this has helped us to compete. Real Madrid go one year without winning a title and they spend €160 million on three players: Illarramendi, Isco and Bale. Barcelona can sign Neymar for €60 or €70 million but not three players. The day we do not have La Masia, things won’t be the same.”