Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has warned his side that they face a player at the peak of his powers in the shape of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo will be the principal threat to his former club when the European giants meet in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie in the Bernabeu, with Ferguson full of praise for his former charge.
He told reporters: "Cristiano is a better player than when he left us because of his maturity. He is at the peak of his career now.
Cristiano is a better player than when he left us because of his maturity. He is at the peak of his career now.Sir Alex Ferguson
"He was still a young man when he left and you can see how he has flourished in Madrid.
"I never thought he'd get the amount of goals he's scored. I knew he'd improve, I knew he was one of the best players in the world, but to score the goals he has is phenomenal."
Ronaldo is 4.00 to open the scoring on Wednesday evening, with Real 1.61 to win the game and 8.50 to secure a 2-0 victory on home turf.
Ferguson, however, is also full of confidence in his own side, who are 2.40 to reach the last eight at the expense of Real, adding: "Our team is capable of winning the Champions League.
"The reality is this team doesn't know when it is beaten, which is a great quality. I have no doubt in my mind the acid test is this."
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