Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo has lavished praise on Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone.
The Portuguese forward was speaking on an upcoming Amazon documentary about the life of the long-serving Atleti boss.
Ronaldo and Simeone shared a long-standing rivalry in the Spanish capital with the forward often proving to be the nemesis of Atletico.
The two will once again go head-to-head in the Round of 16 in the Champions League after the draw, with both clubs seemingly well-matched this season in terms not only of performance but potential to improve.
Simeone was appointed Atleti boss in December 2011 and was central behind their rise to the top of Spanish football in the years since, with Ronaldo being the star forward at Real Madrid in the first six-and-a-half years of that stint.
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Simeone led Atletico to the league titles in La Liga in 2014 and this year, while reaching the Champions League finals in 2014 and 2016, alongside multiple other runs deep into the competition.
Ronaldo played a key role in the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finals when Real Madrid downed their city rivals in all-Madrid showpiece encounters.
The forward was also instrumental when Madrid defeated Atleti in the 2015 quarter-final and at the semi-final stage two years later, when Simeone’s side appeared to be cursed by their neighbours on the biggest stage.
Ronaldo has now spoken out of his deep admiration for the Argentine boss.
“He has a lot of courage,” Ronaldo said of Simeone. “I like people like that.”
These are words that are likely to be deeply analysed with Ronaldo praising Simeone – with the managerial vacancy at Old Trafford coming up at the end of the season.
Ralf Rangnick has been appointed as the United interim coach until the end of the campaign, when the club will then look to make a permanent appointment in the Old Trafford hotseat.
Simeone would very much be an outsider for the role due to his long-standing position in the Spanish capital and style of play, but he clearly holds the admiration of Ronaldo.