Portuguese legend Eusebio is certain Cristiano Ronaldo will scoop the FIFA world player of the year prize in December.
Ronaldo is expected to start his first Champions League game since last May’s final triumph over Chelsea in Moscow tomorrow when United tackle Danish minnows Aalborg looking to record their first win of the current campaign.
The 23-year-old has only just returned from ankle surgery but already he has shot to the top of United’s goalscoring charts, netting against Middlesbrough before taking advantage of Rob Styles’ generosity by converting the Red Devils’ controversial penalty in Saturday’s win over Bolton at Old Trafford.
And Eusebio believes his fellow countryman is nailed on to be crowned world number one later in the year.
“Officially, the best player is Kaka,” Eusebio told www.uefa.com.
“However, I believe today that Cristiano is the best without any doubt. I have always said that he has everything it takes to become the best player in the world.”
Ronaldo has shown no lingering effects from his tumultuous summer, which saw him not only perform disappointingly for Portugal at Euro 2008 and then go under the knife but also become embroiled in a lengthy transfer saga with Real Madrid before, as Eusebio expected, deciding to stay with United.
Now he is a global icon, Ronaldo may find it difficult to keep his feet on the ground.
However, providing he heeds Eusebio’s advice to “keep his head in the right place” it appears there is no limit to his talent.
“I always believed that he would stay in Manchester,” said Eusebio.
“Depending on his condition and whether his head is in the right place, I think he can get better, because with every year that passes he will gain experience and he’ll know how to improve on the pitch.
“He must not forget that he will have to work a lot in terms of pace and ball control, and he is actually good in this respect.
“Therefore, the advice I always give him is that he needs to keep forging ahead in a straight line. Then he will definitely go a long way.”