Cristiano Ronaldo has declared his boss and compatriot José Mourinho is the best coach in the world, better than his former coach Alex Ferguson and Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini.
The Real Madrid and Portugal forward told 'The Sun': "Jose is the world's best coach, he's No 1. It's so great to work with him because I'm a person who likes to win, compete ? and who hates losing!"
Ronaldo has won the Champions League just once, with Manchester United in 2008, and is hungry for more success in the competition. Real Madrid, who face Manchester City on Wednesday night at the Etihad stadium, have won the European Cup a record nine times, but have not lifted the trophy for more than a decade, and are desperate to reach the final at Wembley this season and secure what would be a tenth triumph.
"Everything is focused on winning the Champions League," Ronaldo explained. "You can feel it everywhere, even in the street because everyone knows we're close to winning the club's 10th European Cup.
"It's my dream to win the Champions League again too. It'll come this year or next year but we have to stay calm."
Ronaldo also took a swipe at the Premier League, which is often touted as the best in the world, and instead talked up the credentials of La Liga, declaring: "The Spanish league is the best in the world as the best teams and the best players are there."
And he revealed his secret to his success: pure dedication.
"Football is a life in which you don't have much time to do and enjoy other things. Practically everything revolves around football because my career, my life, is football. And if you want to be at a very high level, you have to be constantly at your peak. My own aim is to work the same as last season and score all the goals I can and try to win trophies."
Madrid full-back Álvaro Arbeloa also spoke to The Sun, and said he was taken aback by Manchester City's poor form in Europe's elite competition, considering they almost beat Madrid in their opening Champions League game back in September, leading twice in the second half, only for goals by Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo to win all three points for 'Los Blancos'.
"It's a real surprise to me that City are not heading the group," said Arbeloa. "They made it difficult for us in the Bernabeu and we are prepared for a big battle."
The Spain international also praised the forwards Benzema and Ronaldo, and rejected suggestions that Ronaldo is not satisfied with life at the Santiago Bernabéu.
"Benzema is out of this world, a very classy and talented footballer. And Cristiano Ronaldo has not changed. For me he is the same player as in past seasons and the rumours about problems in the dressing room are not true. I believe he is happy at Real Madrid."