Blaise Matuidi opened up on how Cristiano Ronaldo’s incredible work ethic enables him to aim higher despite everything he’s achieved.
Ronaldo capped off an impressive debut campaign at Juventus by helping them win an eight successive Serie A title and the Supercoppa Italiana.
Even at 34, Ronaldo quickly adapted to the demands of Italian football and finished last season with 28 goals and 13 assists to his name in 43 appearances.
But both current and former Juventus players alike have insisted that Ronaldo’s dedication to being the world’s number one ultimately had the biggest impact for the Turin-based team.
And now Matuidi is the latest to join in on the praise for Ronaldo’s work ethic. The French World Cup winner noted how impressive it is to see such dedication from someone who’s already won practically everything.
“After the World Cup I did not have time to play around, because if I had played around someone else would have taken my place,” Matuidi told L’Equipe.
“Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival, seeing him work daily, I can tell you it does not leave you a choice either. He’s won everything.
“You say to yourself that when you have won everything, the backlash will come and you will ask yourself ‘what more can I earn?’
“Not him! He always wants to go higher. [Even] In training he always wants to win everything, he is not happy when he loses and I want to ensure you that it is not fake.”
The former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder came on as a substitute to help France defeat Bolivia 2-0 in a friendly earlier this month. It was his 80th appearance at international level.
But the 32-year-old is feeling the heat for his midfield spot in the French team, with the likes of Lyon star Tanguy Ndombele beginning to provide some stiff competition.
“I can say without pretension I knew how to make myself indispensable, but that’s work,” said Matuidi.
“I worked, I hung on, and I needed that – to feel in danger. It’s part of me pushing my limits today.
“Today, I’m happy. When I started at Troyes, to be honest, if I had been told that I would reach 80 caps, a World Cup, a Euro final [in 2016, when France lost to Ronaldo’s Portugal] and that I would have played in major European finals, I would have signed right away.”