Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has heaped praise on Cristiano Ronaldo, claiming football needs players like the Portugal international.
The 28-year-old beat his arch-rival Lionel Messi to the 2013 Fifa Ballon d'Or at Monday's ceremony in Zurich, and Ancelotti feels the prolific attacker thoroughly deserves the recognition for his fine performances and professional attitude.
"I was not surprised by Cristiano Ronaldo's quality and his goals, but his professionalism on and off the pitch did surprise me. He is an example to follow for younger players," the Madrid coach said at a news conference.
"Football needs players like Ronaldo. He's all about fair play and is always serious. He gives football in general a good image, just like players such as Lionel Messi, Franck Ribery, Thiago Silva and Andrea Pirlo. Ronaldo is both talent and hard work. In modern football, you cannot rely on talent. Talent is genetic, but you also have to work hard. We are all happy for him that he won the Ballon d'Or. He deserves it."
Ancelotti then went on to stress that he believes Ronaldo can do even better in 2014 after netting an impressive 69 goals in all competitions last year.
"The Ballon d'Or was a great motivation for him in 2013 and this will not be any different this year," the manager said. "People always want more after you win the Ballon d'Or, but it will not be easy to score more than 69 goals. Ronaldo has the courage to go for it, though."
Ronaldo has scored two goals in three appearances so far in 2014.