After scoring twice in Dortmund wearing his new signature Nike Chapter 5 boots Cristiano Ronaldo invited former teammate and aspiring boxer Rio Ferdinand to his home in Madrid. The pair sat down to discuss CR7's career since moving to Real Madrid in 2009, the design inspiration for his latest Mercurial Superfly.

Ronaldo and Ferdinand chat through the significance of the latest Nike signature boot, before striking a few free kicks with CR Jr in the back garden. After the cameras stopped filming Ferdinand gave a further insight into the early memories he shared with Cristiano in Manchester. "When Cristiano arrived in Manchester, he was quite shy. He was very young, just 18, but the moment I saw him play, I knew he was different. His unquestionable talent was there for all to see."


"Based on his pure skill, all the players knew he had the potential to become the best in the world. But we had to ask, “Has he got the mentality?” Quite quickly we realised that yes, Cristiano did have the mentality. He was brave, and by brave I mean he always wanted the ball. When kicked, he always got up. He never moaned. The players knew he had the potential to become the best in the world.

"But it was his work ethic — his passion for continually improving — that stood out to me. That was his x-factor. He had all the ingredients — skill, mentality, focus — and when he put them together, he became what he is now. He came to Manchester in 2003 a showman. He wanted to entertain the crowd. But he left in 2009 a true player — wanting to score and win matches first, and entertain second."


"The standard in the 2000s was 25-30 goals a season. Since he’s been in Madrid, he’s smashed that out of the park. Now, he's at 50-plus across all competitions. So, although we expected him to be great, in terms of goal ratios, he has surprised us. Now, Cristiano is the benchmark. He's set individual records that are unparalleled in terms of what's come before him. We can talk about all the legends... it's unmatched what he's doing in terms of the goals and the trophies. The young kids of this next generation are looking at him like he’s a god, really.

For the Mbappes, the Dembeles and the Rashfords of this world, Cristiano is the inspiration, and there is not a better example. They've got a long way to go to try to match the standard that he set. It’s not just Cristiano’s on-field success, it's a combination of that and what he does training. You can't have one without the other. When that combination comes with his intelligence for the game, it makes for what you see in Cristiano."