By Max Winters For Mailonline
Published: 11:50 BST, 1 May 2020 | Updated: 11:59 BST, 1 May 2020
Gary Neville believes the 2006 World Cup was a major turning point in Cristiano Ronaldo's career at Manchester United and led him on the path to becoming one of the football's greatest-ever players.
Ronaldo was just 21 at the tournament in Germany, in which he helped Portugal knock England out at the quarter-final stage, before returning to United and scoring 23 goals in 53 appearances and 42 in 49 games in 2007-08.
Neville played alongside Ronaldo for six years at United before he left for Real Madrid and admitted it was that summer that the Portuguese star transformed mentally and physically into becoming one of the game's greats.
Ronaldo helped Portugal knock England out of the World Cup before losing in the semi-finals
Speaking on Friday's The Football Show on Sky Sports, Neville said: 'He was incredibly driven. I knew him more professionally than personally but his drive was out of this world.
'He was one of the few players that would announce that individual trophies were important to him. Most would say the team is more important but he would say "I want to be the best player in the world because in turn it would help my team". He wanted to be the very, very best in the world and what he's done over many years is exceptional.
'It's an obsession with scoring goals, applying himself every day, being the fittest he could be. He's lifted his standards every year. I've got no doubt he will want to continue playing and overtake Pele's numbers. He wants to be the greatest of all time and understanding along the way that