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Don't hog the ball, first coach told Ronaldo

14 January 2015, 09:22

Paris - Cristiano Ronaldo's first manager at Sporting Lisbon, Laszlo Boloni, asked him to stop showing off although he never had problems coaching the Portugal international who now has three Ballon d'Or globes to his name.

Romanian Boloni coached the Real Madrid forward at Sporting from 2001-03.

"At the beginning I had to fight against some permanent exaggerations and correct some things," Boloni told France Football magazine on Tuesday after Ronaldo secured the FIFA Ballon d'Or on Monday ahead of Argentine Lionel Messi and Germany's Manuel Neuer.

"He could not stop showing off his technical skills and was dribbling too much.

"But preventing him from dribbling would have been crazy. The essential part of my job was to find and maintain a balance."

Ronaldo played his first official game against Inter Milan in 2002 in a Champions League clash.

"Was he ready? Yes, he did not lack the courage nor the desire," said Boloni, who believes his former protege is the ultimate professional.

Also read: New York City FC to play friendlies in Manchester

"He was never late, there was never any important problem," he said.

Ronaldo joined Manchester United in 2003 and quickly settled at Old Trafford.

"I thought that at the age of 18 he could be needing an intermediate stage," said Boloni.

"But I was wrong... six months later he was speaking English and he played 30 games in his first season. When he is confronted to new situations... Ronaldo has always shown stunning adapting skills and an incredible maturity.

"In his head, he has always been very strong."

- Reuters


WRAP: English Premiership

21 October 2016, 19:13

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