Cape Town - Sir Alex Ferguson said that Cristiano Ronaldo is a self-made man, when accepting an accolade for outstanding work in football.
The former Manchester United boss is revered the world over for his contribution to world football and the success he engineered with the Red Devils.
He nurtured countless young players into world-class footballers, with Ronaldo probably the pick of the crop, but far from taking all the credit for developing the Real Madrid star into the player he is today, Ferguson said that "Ronaldo made himself".
The 74-year-old accepted the Walther Bensemann at a prestigious event in Nuremberg where he was quoted as saying: "Ronaldo is a perfect example of someone who made himself.
"It's easy for me to say, 'yeah, I made Ronaldo.'
"Many coaches might say I made this player and I made that player, but Ronaldo made himself.
"We just gave him the tools and the platform to excel. His practice ethic was incredible."
Ferguson signed the Portugal star from Sporting in 2003 and he went on to win three Premier League title, an FA Cup, two Football League Cups, the Community Shield, one Champions League, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
He also was named the best player in the world in 2008 as he claimed the Ballon d'Or - his first of three, so far.
"He was a fantastic player, he was the best," Ferguson added.
"We had fantastic players in [Paul] Scholes, [Ryan] Giggs, and [Eric] Cantona. We had some fantastic footballers, but Ronaldo was just something else."