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Manchester United training sessions with Ronaldo were like a war, says Berbatov

The Bulgarian was amazed by the incredible competitiveness of the Portuguese during the one year they spent together at Old Trafford

Former Manchester United star Dimitar Berbatov has recounted his memories of Cristano Ronaldo, and how every training session was like a “war” with the young Portugal star.

Since the pair teamed up at Old Trafford during the 2008-09 season, Ronaldo has since gone on to Real Madrid and Juventus, winning all of club football’s biggest titles.

According to the Bulgarian, it was Ronaldo’s formidable attitude that set him apart, and that was aided by the incredible competitiveness of the United squad at the time.

“Training sessions were like a war sometimes, people in that squad hated to lose, it was a great environment to feed determination and hunger to win,” he told Betfair.

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“You could see how competitive he was by just looking at his training schedule, he trained so hard, he was determined to be better than everyone else.

“You could also see it in the small training games we had or in matches if he missed a chance or the side was losing, he was always determined to be a winner. We all had this side to us, that’s why we played for United.

“I was lucky to play alongside Ronaldo for a season. He was 100% professional, on the training pitch and off it. I don’t remember him ever being late for training. He was always preparing in the gym, after training he would stay and do extra work like working on his shooting, then he would go swimming and go to the gym again.

“Away from the pitch, Ronaldo would make jokes, he’d laugh at himself and he was friendly to everyone. I remember at the players’ Christmas party he was fun, one of the boys, but he didn’t drink and that was him all over – totally focused and professional.”

At the age of 35, Ronaldo continues to post incredible numbers and showed his talents on Wednesday as he helped Juventus to a 3-0 win away to Barcelona in his first on-field meeting with rival Lionel Messi since he departed the Bernabeu.

With Juve this term, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored 12 games in only 10 outings in all competitions.

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Last weekend’s Turin derby, which Juventus won 2-1, was the first time he had not posted either a goal or an assist in a match this term.

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