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Football: Real coach Ancelotti surprised by Ronaldo's work ethic

Published on Jan 14, 2014 9:37 PM
 
Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo takes part in a training session at Real Madrid's sport city in Madrid, on Jan 14, 2014. Carlo Ancelotti never expected Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo to have the strong work ethic he possesses when he first became coach of Real Madrid, the Italian said on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: AFP

BARCELONA (REUTERS) - Carlo Ancelotti never expected Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo to have the strong work ethic he possesses when he first became coach of Real Madrid, the Italian said on Tuesday.

The Portugal winger ended Lionel Messi's four-year reign as Fifa World Player of the Year on Monday night after a dazzling 2013 with club and country.

"I knew the quality he had as I had seen him play and score goals but what has surprised me to an extent is his professionalism on and off the pitch," Ancelotti told a news conference ahead of Real's King's Cup return tie at Osasuna on Wednesday.

"He is also an example of fair play, he doesn't protest. Football needs players like Messi, (Franck) Ribery, (Thiago) Silva and (Andrea) Pirlo as they help to improve its image.

 
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