'Ronaldo was a show pony – now he's a machine'

The Portugal captain became Real Madrid’s all-time top scorer on Saturday and former team-mate Rio Ferdinand said he never thought he’d score as many goals as he has

Rio Ferdinand says Cristiano Ronaldo has developed into a goalscoring machine after being something of a show pony when he first joined Manchester United.

Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 appearances for the Red Devils before signing for Madrid in 2009 in a deal worth £80 million.

The Portuguese has gone on to become Real’s all-time top scorer, breaking Raul’s record on Saturday when he netted his 324th goal in just 310 games for the Spanish giants.

The pair played together during their time at Old Trafford and Ferdinand says he knew straight away that the Portuguese would go onto become a great player.

“I always felt from the moment I set eyes on him at Sporting Lisbon when we played against him in a friendly,” he told BT Sport

“We all came off and went wow he has the potential to go on and be a world class player, definitely. But I didn’t think he’d go on and be this machine in terms of goals.”

Ronaldo scored 33 times in 35 appearances in all competitions in his first season at Madrid but has since averaged more than 50 goals a season, a record Ferdinand says is unprecedented.

“He scores goals at a rate that’s never been seen before, him and Messi,” he added.

“He was a show pony a little bit but now he just goes on the pitch for the pure purpose of scoring goals.”

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