Sir Alex Ferguson has described Real Madrid and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo as an "exceptional" talent who can claim to be the finest footballer of his generation.
The 31-year-old added a European Championship crown to his list of titles last week thanks to his national side's success in France this summer.
Ronaldo only lasted 25 minutes of the final, having played a vital role to help Portugal past Wales in the previous round, but is still the overwhelming favourite to be crowned the 2016 Ballon d'Or winner.
Ferguson, who brought the Sporting Lisbon youth product to Manchester United as a teenager in 2003, is confident that his former player is a standout talent when it comes to naming the world's current greatest.
"He has an incredible desire for football. Cristiano is looking forward to each workout," Ferguson told Bild. "He always wants to be better, to win. He especially loves these big games.
"During my time at Manchester United, Cristiano was the player who developed the most. Through much hard work. He constantly worked on his shooting technique, with the right, left, his heading ability, his bounce. His performance improvement is incredible. And what is remarkable, today's football is so athletic, so fast.
"Usually top players can only play for about five or six years at the highest level, then it's over. Cristiano has been doing this for over 10 years. That makes him so exceptional. Every generation has its special footballer, Cristiano is currently."
The injury sustained by Ronaldo in the 1-0 win over tournament hosts France could see him miss the start of the La Liga season.