Cristiano Ronaldo has opened up on why he decided to leave the comfort of Manchester United for Real Madrid back in 2009, after an intimate interview with former teammate Rio Ferdinand saw the attacker reflect on his career.

Ronaldo quit Old Trafford for the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer of 2009 after Los Blancos offered a then world record fee of £80m (which, less than a decade later seems an almost insignificant fee). However, now he’s discussed his decision to leave – claiming that he had to prove himself.

“I just thought in my mind I want to go there to show my level, to show that I’m a different player and that’s what I did,” he told Ferdinand.

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“I arrived and I had a fantastic first season and then I have improved every season,

“I will never forget the Red Devils. I learnt to be better and better, being around the best players in the world.”

Ronaldo did take a minute to rip into his interviewer – who recently announced his desire to move into professional boxing. When asked where he sees himself in ten years, the 32-year-old was quick to take a jab at Ferdinand.

“10 years? No, in 10 years it will be tough. Maybe I will be a boxer like you” he joked.

Ronaldo is a serial trophy winner on the pitch, and even in his veteran years, his hunger to win everything he can remains as strong as ever:

“The most important thing is to win trophies. We work 10, 11 months and if you win nothing you feel empty and I like to win trophies – as a collective and as an individual, because I work hard for that.

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